Your spirit’s worth is no longer requited, noble form,
These legions are not men-at-arms but visitors in awe.
Once these very pavilions had sheltered earthy kings,
Today, they harbor shadows and rear no glory save their own.
The blood of countless years and masons nourished you;
Only great ambition could animate your lifeless walls.
Though these fountains have been robbed of precious stones,
Profaned by hasty plunderers, your sight remains sublime.
Caprice creates and soon destroys with the heartlessness of time –
You know too well and still inspire just noble thoughts;
Enduring much, reality would mean to you no less, no more.
And since you speak and petrify in every way except with words, I wonder:
When these gates are closed each night unsung by dancing flames,
That once arose from lamps arrayed in glorious niches,
Do you not hear past flourishes and whimpers imprisoned in your dungeons;
Do not the stones within these walls resonate and sing;
Do not those houris’ candles delight in chambers of the king;
And to the darkest, stillest hour before dawn
Does not the queen lay bare her heart and weep?