The Balance

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The Balance  (1912) 
by Clark Ashton Smith

The world upheld their pillars for awhile:
Now, where imperial On and Carthage stood,
The hot wind sifts across the solitude
The sand that once was wall and peristyle;
Or furrows like the main each tawny mile
Where, ocean-deep above its ancient food
Of cities fame-forgot, the waste is nude,
Traceless as billows of each sunken pile.

Lo! for that wrong shall vengeance come at last,
When the devouring earth, in ruin one
With royal walls and palaces undone,
In dust far-blown from the orbit of the past,
Shall drift, and winds that wrangle through the vast
Immingle it with ashes of the sun.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1961, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.