Inscription on the Golden Gate, Constantinople (Translation)

Commemorating Emperor Theodosius’ Victory over the usurper, Maximus, at the Battle of the Save in 388 AD. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the Eastern and Western Roman Empire. 

These acres Theodosius gilded on the Tyrant’s fate;
He brought the Golden Century, who built the Golden Gate.


Legio Patria Nostra

The legion! The legion!
__The legion our home!
The last sacred region
__Remaining to Rome.

I care not for the city,
__Its mercantile score,
Nor hold I in pity
__Its pitiful poor.

Her fanes are forsaken,
__Her forebears forlorned,
Her liberty taken
__And ravished unmourned.

Ye patricians beseeming,
__Ye beggars embrowned,
Bow before the trump screaming
__Ye dare not resound.

Pay the fare for thy leisure,
__Thou suppliant ward,
That we leave thee thy pleasure,
__The bondsman’s reward.

All merit is martial,
__Nor law but our own.
Praetor, blow loud thy timbrel-
__Our edict be known!

Hail, Caesar Augustus,
__The visible god!
May the sandals thou dressed us
__To victory plod.

Give us this day to graze
__Upon silver and gold.
From the hovels we raze,
__Many captives be sold.

Hail, Caesar Invictus,
__Our god for a day,
‘Till another hath picked us
__To merit his pay.

Who founded the line
__Shall abandon it last-
Mars the father come dine
__On his rightful repast!

The legion! The legion!
__The legion alone,
‘Neath refulgent bronze talon,
__Death never hath known.

The flame in the chalice,
__The laying of hands
Scoff at human malice,
__Nor ask in which lands.

The flame rides on the vernal
__That haltlessly flies.
‘Twas blown down eternal,
__Eternal it hies.

Contemn all sweet savor-
__Eternal is pain!
It blesses endeavor,
__And washes our stain.

Pain is the measure
__Of mortal design,
And blood be the treasure
__That purchase our sin.

The legion! The legion!
__The legion our home!
The last sacred region
__Remaining to Rome.


Morgan Downs is a poet in his 20s living in Massachusetts. 


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