New Rome by Matthew Arnold

LINES WRITTEN FOR MISS STORY’S ALBUM

The armless Vatican Cupid
Hangs down his beautiful head;
For the priests have got him in prison,
And Psyche long has been dead.

But see, his shaven oppressors
Begin to quake and disband!
And The Times, that bright Apollo,
Proclaims salvation at hand.

“And what,” cries Cupid, “will save us?”
Says Apollo: “Modernise Rome!
What inns! Your streets, too, how narrow!
Too much of palace and dome!

“O learn of London, whose paupers
Are not pushed out by the swells!
Wide streets with fine double trottoirs;
And then–the London hotels!”

The armless Vatican Cupid
Hangs down his head as before.
Through centuries past it has hung so,
And will through centuries more.

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