’MID thirty centuries of dust and mould
We grope with hopeful heart and eager eye,
And hail our treasure-trove if we but spy
A vase, a coin, a sentence carved of old
On Attic stone. In reverent hands we hold
Each message from the Past, and fain would try
Through myriad fragments dimly to descry
The living glories of the Age of Gold.
Vainest of dreams! This rifled grave contains
Of Beauty but the crumbled outward grace.
The spirit that gave it life, Hellenic then,
Immortal and forever young remains,
But flits from land to land, from race to race,
Nor tarries with degenerate slavish men.
William Cranston Lawton.