Perhaps this page will cradle in the dark
And lonely place between the ends of time.
Perhaps the halting measure of these marks
Will find a breath to voice these English rhymes.
Perhaps the old republic will survive
The follies of this egoistic age.
Perhaps a wiser future will revive
The slight conceits we flatter on a page.
And yet it seems to me that we will fail
And fall out of the virile minds of men,
For like a bitter salt that wastes the soil
We’ve spoiled our country and we’ve sown our end.
    Surely this indifferent age will pass:
    Only virtue, strength, and honor last.  

Michael Curtis is a classical sculptor, painter, and architect who lives in Alexandria, Virginia. His verses have been published in Candelabrum, Blue Unicorn, The New Formalist, The Lyric, American Arts Quarterly, Amphora, Pivot, and many other journals. His translation of Afrikaans verse, “Land of Sunlight and Stars” will be published in 2012.