Henry Alford (1810-1871), Homer
Ilion, along whose streets in olden days
Shone that divinest form, for whose sweet face
A monarch sire, with all his kingly race,
Were too content to let their temples blaze --
Where art thou now? -- no massive columns raise
Their serried shafts to heaven; we may not trace
Xanthus and Simois, nor each storied place
Round which poetic memory fondly plays.
But in the verse of the old man divine
Thy windy towers are built eternally;
Nor shall the ages, as they ruin by,
Print on thy bulwarks one decaying sign;
So true is beauty clothed in endless rhyme,
So false the sensual monuments of time.
- "Ilion" is Troy.
- "That divinest form" is Helen, seduced by Paris.
- "A monarch sire" is Paris' father Priam, king of Troy.
- Xanthus and Simois are rivers near Troy.
- "The old man divine" is Homer.