I found myself among a parent’s ruin.
I will proceed after dinner, for the hour is passing,
And, let’s admit, it might be the last.
The only wooden plaque,
Amidst a sea of ink, hangs
Over a train clock LNER 7989:
The written skull upon the wall.
And there did I not see Paris tumble in
To this red country of industry,
And sit quite nicely upon the chair
While the label asked for a competition,
To which the walls responded?
No: it was the call of Priam,
Already dying upon the altar.
There is no new Achilles to rage,
Neoptolemus renewed in vain,
Against injustice and progress the standard
Of our civilisation.
As I sat within Troy’s walls,
Having long before given up my Story
And Web, to infiltrate the citadel
There I say and saw what I had
Seen and said so many times before,
Yet which til now remained invisible to a sign;
I finally saw the writing on the wall,
The instructions from those we inherit –
But in terse reminder, apart from the maiden aghast –
No bold Galba, but rather Nero’s dream:
These trials might one day be pleasing to remember.