The Greatness of Rome in the Days of Ruin,
Source: William Stearns Davis, ed., Readings in Ancient
History: Illustrative Extracts from the Sources, 2 Vols. (Boston: Allyn and
Bacon, 1912-13), Vol. II: Rome and the West, pp. 322-325. Scanned in and
modernized by Dr. Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton.
Give ear to me, Queen of the world
which you rule,
O Rome, whose place is amongst the stars!
Give ear to me, mother of men, and mother of gods!
Through your temples we draw near
to the very heaven.
You do we sing, yea and while the Fates give us life,
You we will sing.
For who can live and forget you?
Before your image my soul is abased—
Graceless and sacrilegious,
It were better for me to forget the sun,
For your beneficent influence shines
Even as his light
To the limits of the habitable world.
Yea the sun himself, in his vast course,
Seems only to turn in your behalf.
He rises upon your domains;
And on your domains, it is again that he sets.
As far as from one pole to the other spreads the vital
power of nature, so far your virtue has penetrated over the
For all the scattered nations you created one common country.
Those that struggle against you are constrained to bend to your
For you proffer to the conquered the partnership in your just
You have made one city what was aforetime the wide world!
O! Queen, the remotest regions of the universe join in a hymn
to your glory!
Our heads are raised freely under your peaceful yoke.
For you to reign, is less than to have so deserved to reign;
The grandeur of your deeds surpasses even your mighty