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The Ruines Of Time
by [?]

“To tell the beawtie of my buildings fayre, 85
Adornd with purest golde and precious stone,
To tell my riches and endowments rare,
That by my foes are now all spent and gone,
To tell my forces, matchable to none,
Were but lost labour that few would beleeve, 90
And with rehearsing would me more agreeve.

“High towers, faire temples, goodly theaters,
Strong walls, rich porches, princelie pallaces,
Large streetes, brave houses, sacred sepulchers,
Sure gates, sweete gardens, stately galleries 95
Wrought with faire pillours and fine imageries,–
All those, O pitie! now are turnd to dust,
And overgrowen with blacke oblivions rust.

“Theretoo, for warlike power and peoples store
In Britannie was none to match with mee, 100
That manie often did abie full sore:
Ne Troynovant*, though elder sister shee,
With my great forces might compared bee;
That stout Pendragon to his perill felt,
Who in a siege seaven yeres about me dwelt. 105
[* Troynovant, London]

“But long ere this, Bunduca, Britonnesse,
Her mightie hoast against my bulwarkes brought;
Bunduca! that victorious conqueresse,
That, lifting up her brave heroick thought
Bove womens weaknes, with the Romanes fought, 110
Fought, and in field against them thrice prevailed:
Yet was she foyld, when as she me assailed.

“And though at last by force I conquered were
Of hardie Saxons, and became their thrall,
Yet was I with much bloodshed bought full deere, 115
And prizde with slaughter of their generall,
The moniment of whose sad funerall,
For wonder of the world, long in me lasted,
But now to nought, through spoyle of time, is wasted.

“Wasted it is, as if it never were; 120
And all the rest that me so honord made,
And of the world admired ev’rie where,
Is turnd to smoake that doth to nothing fade;
And of that brightnes now appeares no shade,
But greislie shades, such as doo haunt in hell 125
With fearfull fiends that in deep darknes dwell.

“Where my high steeples whilom usde to stand,
On which the lordly faulcon wont to towre,
There now is but an heap of lyme and sand
For the shriche-owle to build her balefull bowre: 130
And where the nightingale wont forth to powre
Her restles plaints, to comfort wakefull lovers,
There now haunt yelling mewes and whining plovers.

“And where the christall Thamis wont to slide
In silver channell downe along the lee, 135
About whose flowrie bankes on either side
A thousand nymphes, with mirthfull iollitee,
Were wont to play, from all annoyance free,
There now no rivers course is to be seene,
But moorish fennes, and marshes ever greene. 140