Marking 9th of July - Beirut AD 551

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Marking 9th of July - Beirut AD 551

Post by Redbeck »

Beirut AD 551

The earth trembles beneath the fountains of graceful old Beirut,
A vibration of seismically barbarian hands tear's at the ground,
Frictional tectonic plates scrub like hanks of hard-knotted jute.
It is ninth of July falling in the year five hundred and fifty one,
Towering tidal waves tumble any form of life until it is drowned,
Ancient coastal cities from Tyre to Tripoli felled into rubble ruin.

An earthquake felt from southwest Alexandria to northern Antioch.
The Piacenza pilgrim wrote of thirty thousand dead in Beirut alone,
Too much humanity swallowed as this Christian traveller took stock.
Byzantine Phoenicia prone, scraped bare as any rough tanned fleece,
Many thousand casualties heaped astride that Dead Sea Transform,
Such fickle whim of nature’s power denies the gentle soul’s release.
A. McTiernan

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