Fallen is Rome: An Acrostic

A Poem By Kyleigh // 9/12/2012

There is but one focus for his eyes of black.
He looks intently at the bright rows of tubs,
Eagerly fingering his money.

Gelato of all colors and flavors
Lies in front of him; he licks his lips.
Over the counter his money goes; now in his hands a cone.
Red lips lick the cold and sweet, the treat goes down.
Years have passed since imperial greatness – but the splendor of food lives on.

The cobbled streets of Rome are crowded today, and the boy with the cone rushes by, going somewhere.
Hallmarks of the city’s greatness rise around me -
A Colosseum, temples – in ruins everywhere you look.
There was a day when they were great, and the whole world spoke of them.

Wonder what it would have been like,
A prisoner of war from Gaul,
Seeing these wonders as your captors hauled you in.

There must be some way out, perhaps you’d think.
Here in the city, so crowded with soldiers, but -
Eras of greatness don’t last forever.

Regardless -
On a day like today, when they come through the triumphal entry,
My hands are tied, and proud and Gaul though I am, somehow I tremble.
All around me speaks of my defeat. Like my own beloved Gaul – Rome cannot last forever.
Near me everywhere, the cold stone rises – what can make it crumble?

Eruption.
Mountain on fire.
Pompeii.
I had no time to flee.
Repent, for judgment is here, Sodom and Gomorrah.
Ever silent now – gone in an instant. This is the hand of the Almighty God.

Herculaneum. Every ruin holds shrines, all of them empty.
Ask yourself now, oh shell of a body – where are your gods?
So much help they were in your day of calamity.

For this is what happens to the glory of Rome.
A warning, will you take heed?
Destruction comes to those who mock the LORD.
Every day is a chance to repent.
Don’t delay – Vesuvius is coming, fire and brimstone for the idolaters whose gods are worthless.

In a hilltop town, far away.
New life is rampant this spring.
The trees are in bloom
Over the fields bursting into fruit, Orvieto looks down.

Remember the anger of the mountain? The destruction of Rome?
Under skies so blue, it seems so far away.
Because here, in the quiet, cobbled streets
Below the arches and in the alleys,
Lie trees of cherry blossom, flow'ring white,
E’er reminding us of hope.

Because though the streets of Rome are crowded with shame,
Under them, for miles and miles -
The worshipers in Spirit and Truth were buried and had gathered.

They often met in secret, among the dead -
He and she and they had gone on to glory before them.
Earth above them, they broke their bread together.

Go beneath, to tomb and cavern,
Linger in the tunnels of death – yet life.
Over us is vainglory.
Reach out here -
You find signs of hope.

Of icthus, and anchored cross, and arms outstretched – no gaudy images here -
For the life Eternal that awaits the faithful unto death – and what deaths they suffered, for the sake of God.

Christ-followers, they were, of whom the world was not worthy.
He died for them, and many died for Him.
Remember the glory of Rome?
Is not this so different?
Still glory, yet of another world.
This is what will last beyond the crumbling temples and monuments.

Remainders of an empire,
Ever remembered, yet something is departed forever.
Maximus the Circus – it is now just a field.
And I ask of you, Rome – where is your glory?
In ruin and rubble, in days gone by? What happened to your greatness?
Never shall this world remain; the kings of the earth go back to dust again.
Savior lives on, forever reigning, forever glorious, forever conqueror. His shrine is empty, too. But He is not broken; He is risen. Rome has no glory when He is here.

Fallen, fallen is Rome.
All her glory is ruin.
Where has your greatness gone?
Faded into history, only a memory.
And yet there is greater beauty, for:

Christus Vincit, Christ is conquers.
Christus Regnat, Christ reigns.
Christus Imperat, Christ rules.

You can see Rome with different eyes.
Instead of greatness – there is crumbling stone.
Instead of well-preserved cities – there are empty shrines – their gods could not help.
Instead of entertainment – there is the blood of the martyr and the damned alike.
Instead of Maximus – there is a field.
Instead of new things – there is nothing new under the sun; all is vanity.

Comments

I feel as though this

I feel as though this deserves a profounder comment than, "I like this. I like the acrostic and I like the bits that make it up. I like the ending. I had the pictures you took in Rome running through my head. I like it." But that's really all I can think to say.

Anna | Wed, 09/12/2012

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

This is excellent. It's

This is excellent. It's beautiful, but it's also sobering.

Kathleen | Wed, 09/12/2012

AMAZING!!

This is extremely awesome!! The message of this poem is striking and sobering at the same time. I love the ending. I love this poem. It's extremely thought-provoking. VERY, VERY, VERY awesome job.

p.s. And I love that you added Latin to it. (I studied Latin for two years.)

Lucy Anne | Wed, 09/12/2012

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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