The Ruin

Wondrous is this masonry; shattered by fate

broken is the city; labors of giants crumble.

Fallen roofs, ruined towers,

rime-frosted mortar,

the mutilated roof collapsed,                                                                           5

undermined by old age.  Earth’s embrace has

the deceased master builders,

the harsh grip of the ground, until a hundred generations

of people departed.  Often this wall,

grey with lichen and red-hued remained through one kingdom after                10

another, remained standing under tempest; lofty and broad it collapsed.

Still the masonry the storms cut down

Fell on………………………………….

Cruelly scraped and sharpened…………

……………shone she………………….                                                    15

………….the ancient building………….

………….though crusts of mud ring……

Heart………………………..swiftly wove together.

Resolute builder, with ingenuity of ring-mail,

bound the wall-brace together with wondrous metal wires.                            20       

Bright were the city buildings, the bathing halls many,

the abundance of high gables, the noise great--as of an army,

many a mead hall full with the revelry of men

until the mighty fate changed that.

Slaughtered men fell far and wide, days of pestilence came,                           25

death took away all the sword-valiant men;

the places of war became deserted places,

a decayed city.  Rebuilders perished,

sanctuaries fell into earth.  Forthwith these buildings grew desolate,

and these red-curved tiles parted                                                                  30

with the vaulted ceiling.  The ruins fell, perished,

shattered into mounds of stone, where formerly many a warrior,

joyous and bright with gold, with splendor adorned,

proud and flushed with wine, in war trappings shone.

They looked upon treasures; upon silver, upon precious stone,                      35

upon wealth, upon property, upon jewelry

and upon the bright stronghold of this spacious kingdom.

Stone buildings stood and a stream hotly surged forth;

a wall enclosed all in its bright bosom, there were the baths,

hot at its heart.  That was so suitable.                                                            40

The streams then poured hotly

over hoary, grey stone

into the circular pool

 

Where the baths were                                                                                  45

……………...a noble thing.

This house………..this city.