The Ballad of Rome

There once lived a chap with a heart made of glass,
with a sword and a belt and a buckle of brass.
He put out to sea with his crew and his son,
when he saw Troy’s last battle just couldn’t be won,
and embarked on a journey the gods destined begun,

to a faraway place to found Rome.

To a faraway place to found Rome.

See, his homeland was burning, his father was dead,
and some jilted lover put a curse on his head;
the hills and the forest are all that remain
of the place where he’d lived ‘twixt the sea and the plain
and the river that gurgles its endless refrain

in a faraway place, far from Rome.

In a faraway place, far from Rome.

He met a witch-woman with no snakes in her hair
But dry leaves on her floor and wind in her lair.
She gave him a candle, a book, and a bell,
said, “Show me the signs and I’ll show you through Hell,
so you’ll withstand the sights and you’ll withstand the smell;

descend and ascend to found Rome.

Descend and ascend to found Rome.”

He thought she was crazy, he thought she was mad,
her cavern was filthy, but advice-not that bad.
She said he would find the white-skinnéd pig,
and there was the place to jump off his rig,
there found a small city that soon should grow big

and that town would give birth to Rome.

And that town would give birth to Rome.

Our lad was a piker, a seadog, a salt,
and he knew that his failings were just not his fault.
He didn’t ask spoil and treasure and fame
or even ask for the city to carry his name,
but the people he founded came about just the same,

a people that grew into Rome.

A people that grew into Rome.

Latium grew large and wealthy and he called it his home
with his crew and his son and his ma birthed from foam,
and the poets sang songs of where all roads lead,
where lovers find love, monks practice their creed,
and farmers and soldiers and dreamers find seed,

there’s no place on earth quite like Rome.

There’s no place on earth quite like Rome.

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