Short perfect verses – 'fifteen olive trees
grandfather planted.' 'I once owned a shield-
shattered in battle and I had to yield'
'Your voice is soft and warming as a breeze'
'The boy I loved turned Christian, went away'
'My friend is dead, the nightingales sing still'
'Apollo cured my child when he was ill
I sing his praises.' 'Glory to the day
the tyrant fell.' We sometimes know their name,
their town perhaps. Their bones are lost to time
but something lives because they made a rhyme.
Something more durable perhaps than fame
Cold comfort in the grave, still to be read
but all that we can hope for when we're dead.