Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Greece
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX.  1876–79.
 
Greece: Athens
Altered Condition of Athens
Eupolis (c. 446–411 B.C.)
 
(From The People)
Translated by W. Peter

IT grieves me to behold the commonwealth.
Things were not thus administered of old;
Then men of sense and virtue, men whose merits
Gave them consideration in the state,
Held the first offices: to such we bowed        5
As to the gods,—and gods indeed they were,—
For under their wise counsels we enjoyed
Security and peace. But now, alas!
We have no other guide in our elections
Save chance, blind chance, and on whatever head        10
It falls, though worst and meanest of mankind,
Up starts he a great man, and is at once
Installed prime Rogue and Minister of State.
 
 
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