In the ladder gyre of the Age of the Glass Council:
Where kings once toiled as goldsmiths and soldiers,
Where merchant princes financed poets and popes,
A flooded city falls diminished, its stout walls of honor
Shadowed by wet decadance, an ambitious mausoleum
Under trees with violet-eyed blooms and lush dark fruit.
Seven immodest artists challenged seven bullish judges
In laborous directions, two double-edged swords
At right angles to each structure of the foreordained body.
But they could not gain new force from the ceremonies.
Lost is the wealth of precision built by scholars
Who wrote their own fame, decided their own destiny.
Genius cannot collaborate with hierarchy.