Science, Tech, Math › Social Sciences The Coliseum: Edgar Allan Poe's Poem About the Lone Ampitheatre by Edgar Allan Poe Share Flipboard Email Print The Roman Colosseum, Rome, Italy. Kevin Clarkson Social Sciences Archaeology Basics Ancient Civilizations Excavations History of Animal and Plant Domestication Psychology Sociology Economics Environment Ergonomics Maritime By K. Kris Hirst Archaeology Expert M.A., Anthropology, University of Iowa B.Ed., Illinois State University K. Kris Hirst is an archaeologist with 30 years of field experience. Her work has appeared in scholarly publications such as Archaeology Online and Science. our editorial process Twitter Twitter K. Kris Hirst Updated March 08, 2017 The following Edgar Allan Poe poem on the Roman Colosseum (spelled Coliseum by some, including Poe) was first published in the Baltimore Saturday Visiter (sic) on October 26, 1833. Poe eventually revised it a number of times, but never really was terribly happy with any of his poems.--------Lone ampitheatre! Grey Coliseum!Type of the antique Rome! Rich reliquaryOf lofty contemplation left to TimeBy buried centuries of pomp and power!At length, at length — after so many daysOf weary pilgrimage, and burning thirst,(Thirst for the springs of love that in thee lie,)I kneel, an altered, and an humble man,Amid thy shadows, and so drink withinMy very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory.Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!Silence and Desolation! and dim Night!Gaunt vestibules! and phantom-peopled aisles!I feel ye now: I feel ye in your strength!O spells more sure then e'er Judaean kingTaught in the gardens of Gethsemane!O charms more potent than the rapt ChaldeeEver drew down from out the quiet stars!<br/>Here, where a hero fell, a column falls:Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat:Here, where the dames of Rome their yellow hairWav'd to the wind, now wave the reed and thistle:Here, where on ivory couch the Caesar sat,On bed of moss lies gloating the foul adder:Here, where on golden throne the monarch loll'd,Glides spectre-like unto his marble home,Lit by the wan light of the horned moon,The swift and silent lizard of the stones.These crumbling walls; these tottering arcades;These mouldering plinths; these sad, and blacken'd shafts;These vague entablatures; this broken frieze;These shattered cornices; this wreck; this ruin;These stones, alas! - these grey stones — are they all;All of the great and the colossal leftBy the corrosive hours to Fate and me?"Not all," — the echoes answer me; "not all:Prophetic sounds, and loud, arise foreverFrom us, and from all ruin, unto the wise,As in old days from Memnon to the sun.We rule the hearts of mightiest men: — we ruleWith a despotic sway all giant minds.<br/>We are not desolate — we pallid stones;Not all our power is gone; not all our Fame;Not all the magic of our high renown;Not all the wonder that encircles us;Not all the mysteries that in us lie;Not all the memories that hang upon,And cling around about us now and ever,And clothe us in a robe of more than glory."