Buoying massive stones dangerous to deliver
Up against the ramparts, the water would erode
The very walls to benefit from the load,
Were they not rooted under the river.
The foreman of the underworld takes more
From men in this Elysium alluvial:
Until a mortal’s suffocated in the core,
Augers bring an augury, an accusal
That proper sacrifice has not been made;
Foundations must be — curses lifted — laid,
And into the rock all driven to refusal.
NOTE for Students of English
In the terminology of marine construction, a piling is said to be pounded in “to refusal” when it will not go any farther into the riverbed.