Rome

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Two twins were abandoned, a baby boy and his brother.

Meant to die, they survived because a wolf became their mother.

    They grew up and built a town, a place that they could call home.

    Set among seven verdant hills, it became the City of Rome.

On the banks of the River Tiber the little city grew,

manifesting in wood and stone all that its people knew.

    Manifesting its people’s desire, it grew over centuries of years,

    with infrastructure designed by the ancient world’s best engineers.

They built aqueducts and sewers and even paved roads too:

it seemed that there was nothing that the Romans could not do.

    Stimulated by their achievements, their imaginations caught fire

    and they spread their Latin and their laws over a continent-wide Empire.

But History was not kind to Rome, though the collapse was not abrupt.

It happened slowly, brought about by rulers who were intensely corrupt.

    Seven deadly sins crept in to colonize the seven hills,

    bringing with them a terrible rot with all its attendant ills.

Within the rot a strange faith arose and brought the people good news

from the tension between the philosophy of the Greeks and the prophesies of the Jews.

    A new emperor would take over someday, though many would have thought it odd

    that the Empire would be taken over by the only-begotten Son of God.

The center of Christianity found itself living in a grand new home,

the pinnacle of faith thereafter found in the humble Bishop of Rome.

    When the Empire weakened and collapsed, the people had only one hope.

    The Roman Empire continued to exist in the army of the Pope.

After the Roman Empire dissolved, Europe seemed to be in the lurch,

but the continent’s people were held together by the Roman Catholic Church.

    Epicenter of History, sending shock waves through the West.

    Taking "Man is the measure of all things" as a promotion of the best.

The Romans, inspired, raised their culture to the highest of its peaks

when they rediscovered and revived anew the ancient wisdom of the Greeks.

    From center of a continent-wide empire to favored home of popes,

    Rome grew into the repository of Humanity’s profoundest hopes.

See the festivals, the shady pines, and the gaily splashing fountains,

and in the distance the gentle green slopes of Italy’s Apennine Mountains.

    Blessed are those who live here; more blessed those who were here born.

    As Romans they must feel an angelic privilege and regard the rest of us as gracelorn.

For centuries barbarian hordes came and savagely tried to debase it.

But even the ravages of the vile Black Death simply could not erase it.

    Chariots and wagons used to roam the streets and now we see Vespas and cars

    traffic jamming on the field where the people used to worship Mars.

Like the battered and abused Christ Himself, the city rose again

in order for it the Spirit of Humanity to sustain.

    Centuries worth of memory shimmer like a vast and ghostly presence.

    A public Spirit permeates the city like a great aetherial essence.

Too horrible to contemplate, it would be an infernal pity

if Humanity ever lost the spirit or the form of Civilization’s Eternal City.

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