“Athanasius and Delilah were king and queen of ancient Mixolydia around 4,000 B.C.,” the tour guide exclaimed as Mimi and Richard gave him their undivided attention. He went on to describe all the famous long-ago pair’s exploits that rivaled those of Antony and Cleopatra, as well as other ancient couples. “No one even remembers them today,” he continued. Having majored in literature in college, Richard couldn’t help comparing the couple to Ozymandias, the subject of Shelley’s famous Romantic sonnet. “Tempus fugit, memento mori”, Mimi gasped, a resigned expression on her face.
“Athanasius” comes from the ancient Greek for Immortal and “Delilah” means dark or night. Mixolydia is a country in the ancient world now referred to only in musical circles. “Tempus fugit, memento mori” means “Time flies, remember death” an old line from Vergil. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/guide/238972 Mimi and Richard are Joan Baez’ sister and her husband.