Ancient of days! august Athena! where,
Where are thy men of might, thy grand in soul?
Gone – glimmering through the dream of things that were:
First in the race that led to Glory’s goal,
They won, and passed away – is this the whole?
A schoolboy’s tale, the wonder of an hour!
The warrior’s weapon and the sophist’s stole
Are sought in vain, and o’er each mouldering tower,
Dim with the mist of years, grey flits the shade of power.
- Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto II (1812), Stanza 2.