In The Via Sestina

O daughter of Isis,
Thou standest beside the wet highway
Of this decayed Rome,

A manifest harlot.

Straight and slim art thou
As a marble phallus;
Thy face is the face of Isis

As she is carven in basalt.
And my heart stops with awe
At the presence of the gods,

There beside thee on the stall of images
Is the head of Osiris
Thy lord.

Richard Aldington