Before Year Zero

roman jerusalem
A mural of the Cardo in Jerusalem.  Since the street was laid out in Hadrian’s rebuilding of the city in the HE 10130s, it’s a bit late for the poem but you get the idea.  Alas, I have been unable to find out who the artist is.

Before Year Zero

It is, they say, (or so it’s said),
An Age of Wonder in our Time !
An Age of Peace and Plentitude,
Of Reason and Sublime.
A Pax Romana to us all,
To all us tribes who lost the fight –
As vassal states, we’re better fed,
Than ever were through might !
Come, all Romans, and construct
Your forum and your aqueduct !
And set us on the metalled road
To ever greater heights !
So join our bacchanalia,
From Galilee to Greece to Gaul.
And merry Saturnalia to all !

We may not yet be perfect, true,
But hey, we’ve made a cracking start –
We’re all philosophers, these days,
We’re lovers of the art.
How civilised we have become,
How better yet we’ll grow to be:
Two thousand years of peace shall flow,
Where all mankind is free !
We’ve gods to spare, we’ve gods galore,
And ev’ry tribe will bring some more –
And best of all, they’re kept at bay,
To serve humanity.
So join our bacchanalia
And never mind the zealot’s call.
And merry Saturnalia to all !

I am fully aware that our stupidly stupid backwards-counting chronology has no year zero, and I’ve decided I don’t give a toss. Of course, for those of us who prefer the decently-sensible Holocene Calendar, this poem should be called Before Year Ten-Thousand.

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