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Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935). Collected Poems. 1921.

II. The Children of the Night

9. Villanelle of Change

SINCE Persia fell at Marathon,

The yellow years have gathered fast:

Long centuries have come and gone.

And yet (they say) the place will don

A phantom fury of the past,

Since Persia fell at Marathon;

And as of old, when Helicon

Trembled and swayed with rapture vast

(Long centuries have come and gone),

This ancient plain, when night comes on,

Shakes to a ghostly battle-blast,

Since Persia fell at Marathon.

But into soundless Acheron

The glory of Greek shame was cast:

Long centuries have come and gone,

The suns of Hellas have all shone,

The first has fallen to the last:—

Since Persia fell at Marathon,

Long centuries have come and gone.