Entry X – January


III. “For these of old the trader”
A.E. Housman

For these of old the trader
Unpearled the Indian seas,
The nations of the nadir
Were diamondless for these;

A people prone and haggard
Beheld their lightnings hurled:
All round, like Sinai, staggered
The sceptre-shaken world.

But now their coins are tarnished,
Their towers decayed away,
Their kingdom swept and garnished
For haler kings than they;

Their arms the rust hath eaten,
Their statutes none regard:
Arabia shall not sweeten
Their dust, with all her nard.

They cease from long vexation,
Their nights, their days are done,
The pale, the perished nation
That never see the sun;

From the old deep-dusted annals
The years erase their tale,
And round them race the channels
That take no second sail.


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