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Anna’s Update 16: whack-a-mole

This chapter’s two main emperors may have 99 problems, but being called “effeminate” by Gibbon ain’t one. He loves these guys. Let’s see if his favorable opinion of Gallienus’ immediate successors is justified. Chapter 11 Part 1 What? After all that buildup about a near extinction-level pandemic at the end of the last chapter, itContinue reading “Anna’s Update 16: whack-a-mole”

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THE FALL OF ROME
W.H. Auden

(for Cyril Connolly)

The piers are pummelled by the waves;
In a lonely field the rain
Lashes an abandoned train;
Outlaws fill the mountain caves.

Fantastic grow the evening gowns;
Agents of the Fisc pursue
Absconding tax-defaulters through
The sewers of provincial towns.

Private rites of magic send
The temple prostitutes to sleep;
All the literati keep
An imaginary friend.

Cerebrotonic Cato may
Extol the Ancient Disciplines,
But the muscle-bound Marines
Mutiny for food and pay.

Caesar's double-bed is warm
As an unimportant clerk
Writes I DO NOT LIKE MY WORK
On a pink official form.

Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast.
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