Of Lost & Found Cities
Nineveh and Babylon have crumbled into dust,
Carthage, Ur and Jericho are pillars in the sand;
Once they were such glories, true – bustling and august –
But now reduced to legends and faint markings on the land.
London, though, is still alive, still growing and unplanned,
Not like dead Persepolis, where only mem’ry roams.
Ephesus and Ashkelon are sinking, gust by gust.
Luxor, Thebes and Memphis, now preserved in ancient tomes,
Sumer, Sardis, Akkad and Knossos are unmanned.
London, though, is standing yet, and just as grim and grand.
Middle-aged, with stuccoed bays and stock-brick-golden domes;
Humble tracks now avenues, from Oxford Street to Strand,
Yet keeps forever youthful as it builds and fells its homes.
Many structures barely make a century’s employ,
Ere yet another edifice is raised upon its bones;
And so King’s Cross and Bishopsgate, and Knightsbridge and Savoy
Have thus by slow rebuilding changed their slates and paving-stones.
Once an early city stood, whose name we still enjoy,
But now that ancient London’s quite as lost as Kish and Troy.