Rome if you want to, by the Appian Way,
By learning to pray
To your household gods.
Should Apollo, of a morning, come peeping
Through your villa window–
Greet him with a proper carpe diem.
Practice being stoic
As you slip on your white tunic,
But only if you want to.
First thing, think of all the things
Can go wrong in a day
As you prepare to promote nothing
If not the common good.
Be a knowledgeable citizen
Who knows should his travels take him
To the Coliseum
What thumbs up and thumbs down mean.
It’s important. Some Christian’s life
Depends upon it.
Thumbs up for death and down for life–
Did you think the opposite was true?
Most do. Probably just a rumor
Started by a Christian trying to be a martyr
And nothing to fall on your sword about.
Pass through or shop at Trajan’s Market
If you must, but beware
The plebian pickpockets there
Love nothing more than collecting
From you unawares
The clinking precious round portraits
Of each immortal emperor.
Should your travels end fatally
And you find yourself lost tragically
Amongst the flung bones
And thoughtless skulls of yesteryears
Beneath the busy cobbled streets
In those dismal dark and ever cold
Claustrophobic catacombs, please know:
You were and you shall ever be
The mortar helps support this eternal city.
– Robert Tustin