Ruin a Poem By S. A. J. Bradley
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington
Wondrous the stone of these ancient walls, shattered by fate.
The districts of the city have crumbled.
The work of giants of old lies decayed.
Roofs are long tumbled down,
The lofty towers are in ruins.
Frost covers the mortar,
Tiles weathered and fallen, undermined by age.
The original builders are long in the earth’s cruel grip,
generations since have passed.
These broad walls, now reddened and lichen-aged, brown and gray:
once they withstood invading kingdoms.
Now, beneath countless seasons, they have fallen.
The rampart assembled by many, crumbles still,
Though hewn together with skill of sharpening and joining,
Strengthened ingeniously with chain and cabled rib-walls.
In the town, urbane buildings, bathhouses, lofty rooftops,
a multitude gathered.
Many a hall filled with humans
until Fate inexorably changed everything.
All the inhabitants succumbed to pestilence.
Swept away are the great warriors.
Their towers and walls are deserted,
the desolate place crumbles away.
Who could repair any of it,
for they are long dead.
So the courtyards and gates have collapsed,
and the pavilion roofs of vaulted beams crumbled.
Here where once men in resplendent clothes, proud, gazed upon their gold and silver treasure,
their gems and precious stones,
upon their wealth, and property:
the bright city of a broad kingdom.
Stone courtyards ran streams of ample water, heating the great bathes,
conveniently flowing into the great stone vats …
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