"Now that the steel is dark with age, defeat
has the same dignity as victory;
the running sand that measured their distant
shadows turns them gold with the same glory.
It purifies them of noisy and coarse
euphoria and turns the boastful bow
into a broken thing. Drop by drop
time goes on burying our history.
Troy is because it was. The ancient fire
the Greek set with his desecrating hand
is now its honor and its granite wall.
The hexameter lasts longer than the loud
clash of death-dealing metal against metal
and the elegy outlasts the battle."