On Seeing the Elgin Marbles

          by Keats

          My spirit is too weak -- mortality
          Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,
          And each imagined pinnacle and steep
          Of godlike hardship, tells me I must die
          Like a sick Eagle looking at the sky.
          Yet 'tis a gentle luxury to weep
          That I have not the cloudy winds to keep
          Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye.
          Such dim-conceivéd glories of the brain
          Bring round the heart an indescribable feud;
          So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,
          That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude
          Wasting of old Time -- with a billowy main --
          A sun -- a shadow of a magnitude.

          Horse of Selene


          Verses by Roger Casement

          Give back the Elgin marbles, let them lie
          Unsullied, pure beneath the Attic sky
          The smoky fingers of our northern clime
          More ruin work than all ancient time.
          How oft' the roar of the Piraean Sea
          Through column'd hall and dusky temple stealing
          Hath struck these marble ears, that now must flee
          The whirling hum of London, noonward reeling.
          Ah! let them hear again the sounds that float
          Around Athene's shrine on morning's breeze --
          The lowing ox, the bell of climbing goat
          And drowsy drone of far Hymettus' breeze.
          Give back the marbles; let them vigil keep
          Where art still lies, over Pheidias' tomb, asleep.

          Roger Casement was an Irish revolutionary who was hanged
          by the British during the First World War.

          Extract from a speech

          delivered by Alexander Rangavis
          at the meeting of the Greek
          Archaeological Society on May 12
          1842, in front of the eastern
          pediment of the Parthenon

          "What would Europe say, atremble,
          if one should find a drawing by
          Raphael or Apelles and, unable to
          carry it all away, should cut off the
          legs or the head of that work of art:
          If England, the friend of valiant
          deeds, cannot carry this entire
          temple to her soil and, with it, the
          deep blue sky under which this all
          white monument stands, and cannot
          carry the transparent air which
          bathes the temple and the brilliant
          sun that gilds it -- if England cannot
          carry all those things to her far-northern
          climate then, just as kings and
          commoners formerly sent humble tokens
          of worship to the Parthenon and the
          Acropolis, so should England send us,
          as a token of reverence to the cradle
          of civilisation, the temple's jewels which
          were snatched from it and lie now, far
          away and of little value, while the
          temple itself remains truncated and formless."

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