By the chance turning of a spade
In Roman earth, to view are laid
Bits of carnelian, bronze and gold,
Laboriously carved of old—
Sleek Bacchus with his leaves and grapes;
Bow-bending Centaurs; Gorgon shapes;
Pallas Athene helmeted;
Some grim, forgotten emperor's head....
This one, most precious for its make,
That other, for the metal's sake.

A touch—and lo! are brought to light
Fancies long buried out of sight
In hearts of poets... bits of rhyme
Fashioned in some forgotten time
And thrown aside, but, found to-day,
Have each a value in its way...
This, for the skill with which 't is wrought,
That, for the pathos of its thought.

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