1. Home
  2. Poems & Poets
  3. Browse Poems
  4. On Seeing the Elgin Marbles
On Seeing the Elgin Marbles

Related Poem Content Details

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-conceived glories of the brain
   Bring round the heart an undescribable 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.



Notes:
Lord Eglin made an expedition to the Parthenon in Greece, returning with a significant number of marble statues and friezes, which he subsequently sold to the British Museum in 1816.
Source: The Longman Anthology of Poetry (Palgrave, 2006)
Discover this poem's context and related poetry, articles, and media.
On Seeing the Elgin Marbles

Related Poem Content Details

Other Information