Come, Mercury, by whose minstrel spell
Amphion raised the Theban stones,
Come, with thy seven sweet strings, my shell,
Thy "diverse tones,"
Nor vocal once nor pleasant, now
To rich man's board and temple dear:
- forth thy power, till Lyde bow Her stubborn ear.
She, like a three year colt unbroke,
Is frisking o'er the spacious plain,
- shy to bear a lover's yoke, A husband's rein.
The wood, the tiger, at thy call
Have follow'd: thou canst rivers stay:
- monstrous guard of Pluto's hall To thee gave way,
Grim Cerberus, round whose Gorgon head
A hundred snakes are hissing death,
Whose triple jaws black venom shed,
And sickening breath.
Ixion too and Tityos smooth'd
Their rugged brows: the urn stood dry
- hour, while Danaus' maids were sooth'd With minstrelsy.
Let Lyde hear those maidens' guilt,
Their famous doom, the ceaseless drain
Of outpour'd water, ever spilt,
And all the pain
Reserved for sinners, e'en when dead:
Those impious hands, (could crime do more?)
Those impious hands had hearts to shed
Their bridegrooms' gore!
One only, true to Hymen's flame,
Was traitress to her sire forsworn:
That splendid falsehood lights her name
Through times unborn.
"Wake!" to her youthful spouse she cried,
"Wake! or you yet may sleep too well:
Fly--from the father of your bride,
Her sisters fell:
They, as she-lions bullocks rend,
Tear each her victim: I, less hard
Than these, will slay you not, poor friend,
Nor hold in ward:
Me let my sire in fetters lay
For mercy to my husband shown:
Me let him ship far hence away,
To climes unknown.
Go; speed your flight o'er land and wave,
While Night and Venus shield you; go
Be blest: and on my tomb engrave
This tale of woe."
This site is dedicated to bringing you information about the wonder that was the Roman Empire and how its legacy still shapes our history, our language, and the foundations of our society and its institutions. The Roman Empire endures!
The City of Rome was traditionally founded in 753 B.C. by our calendar. The Romans measured their calendar from the foundation of the City, or "Anno urbis conditae". By their calendar, today is Anno Urbis ("The Year of the City") 2773.
The Roman Empire at its greatest extent comprised most of western Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Larger than even most modern nations, the empire was held together by a network of roads, a common language, and most of all a culture which still today exerts a powerful influence on our society and institutions, over 1600 years after the fall of Rome. No other empire or civilization has had such a lasting and significant impact on the modern world.