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THE MILESTONE CARVER
(With thanks to John Dominic Crossan)

I sent it down the whole Galatian road:
“The Imperator Caesar, Son of God . . .”
Junias took it from me load by load,
On limestone slabs, in all four hundred odd.
“Son of God, and the Chief of all the Priests . . .”
Not a bad life we’ve had here since the war.
We got a mason’s guild with monthly feasts,
And a bathhouse, too, with pictures on the floor.
“Of all the Priests, made this Augustan Way . . .”
No, it was nice beneath the awning’s shade,
My strokes more automatic day by day,
The breeze, the singing of the fuller’s maid.
“Augustan Way, which work was overseen . . .”
It would have been enough just to forget,
To think of stone, and each day’s blue and green,
To think of silences as each sun set.
“Was overseen by Marcus Aquila . . .”
But when I wrote the last mile, I was shaken
To feel a god’s work ending. But I saw,
Of course, that everything is overtaken.
“By Marcus Aquila, who governed here.”
Where did it come from, then, this echoing pain
To have an endless day, an endless year,
To overtake the overtaking rain?


Contents
October 18, 2010    |     Volume LXI I , No. 19

Articles
  • The pope called a nation back to greatness.
  • In the California Senate race, Republican Carly Fiorina tries to replace a heroine of the Left.
  • Gender discrimination does not explain the male-female pay gap.
  • Will the U.S. remain dominant in the Asia-Pacific region?
Features
  • They are the enemy of federalism.
  • How Marco Rubio became the conservative frontrunner in Florida’s Senate race.
  • Paul Krugman’s destructive and self-destructive quest for the great white stimulus.
Education
Books, Arts & Manners
Sections
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .