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Pliny the Younger's Letter

By Ruth Calder Murphy (Arciemme)

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Pliny the Younger’s letter

Vesuvius is erupting,

They said it wouldn’t blow,

But looking at the cloud of ash,

I reckon it will go.

It started as a column,

Straight, tall, looked like a tree

That grew out of the mountain’s peak

And glowered down at me.

Since then it’s grown so quickly,

It’s filling up the sky.

You can’t tell if it’s night or day,

I think the world will fry.

Our friends live right below it,

My uncle’s gone to see

If he can get there in his boat –

I’d rather him than me.

Vesuvius is erupting,

It’s started, finally,

Great lumps of brightly burning rock

Are hissing in the sea.

The island is on fire,

The cloud is all aglow,

How anybody could survive,

I really do not know.

Vesuvius is erupting.

It’s all that I can do

To write this with a shaking hand

And send it on to you.

Vesuvius is erupting.

They said it wouldn’t blow,

But they were wrong – it’s top has gone

And so’s the town below.

I cannot watch much longer.

But still, I need to see.

I hate to watch, but hate to miss

This making history.

I’ll write down what I’ve witnessed,

And then I’ll go and pray

That Uncle will survive the fire

Rained down on him today.

Click here for more information about volcanoes on Weather Wiz Kids

Click here for a fact-packed page about volcanoes and volcanic glass - thank you to Ally for sharing this one!

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