Friday, 15 August 2014

Catania - Vincenzo da Filicaja

Thou buried city, o'er thy site I muse! —
What! does no monumental stone remain
To say, "Here yawned the earthquake-riven plain,
Here stood Catania, and here Syracuse"?
Along thy sad and solitary sand
I seek thee in thyself, yet find instead
Naught but the dreadful stillness of the dead.
Startled and horror-struck, I wondering stand,
And cry: O, terrible, tremendous course
Of God's decrees! I see it, and I feel it here:
Shall I not comprehend and dread its force?
Rise, ye lost cities! let your ruins rear
Their massy forms on high, portentous corse,
That trembling ages may behold and fear!

Vincenzo da Filicaja (1642 - 1707) Italy

The earthquake of 1693 destroyed many of the Roman ruins at Catania, including most of the 15,000 seat amphitheatre of which what little remains is shown here

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