ATTN JMS: "Babylon" by A.G. Stephens

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon May 18 06:19:08 EDT 1998

From: Moira Russell <mrussell at>
Date: 16 May 1998 14:46:26 -0600
Lines: 69

Dear Joe,

Actually, this is not a note accusing/asking whether you ripped off
"Babylon 5" from Poem A, Story B, or Novel C!  How refreshing!  No,
rather, when I saw "Endgame" recently in the reruns, I was so moved I
was compelled to dig out a poem from one of my favorite anthologies and
pass it by you to see if you would also be amused and moved by how close
some of the lines come to embodying the ideal of "Babylon 5" (the
station AND the series). Sadly, the book I got this from is out of
print, and apparently has been for a long while.... I don't know
anything about the author other than he wrote this poem.  But I rather
think that's enough to know and I think he would think so too.... 

A. G. Stephens


Babylon has fallen!  Aye;  but Babylon endures
Wherever human wisdom shines or human folly lures;
Where lovers lingering walk beside, and happy children play,
Is Babylon!  Babylon!  for ever and for aye.
The plan is rudely fashioned, the dream is unfulfilled,
Yet all is in the archetype if but a builder willed;
And Babylon is calling us, the microcosm of men,
To range her walls in harmony and lift her spires again;
The sternest walls, the proudest spires, that ever sun shone on,
Halting a space his burning race to gaze on Babylon.

Babylon has fallen!  Aye;  but Babylon shall stand:
The mantle of her majesty is over sea and land.
Hers is the name of challenge flung, a watchword in the fight
To grapple grim eternities and gain the old delight;
And in the word the dream is hid, and in the dream the deed,
And in the deed the mastery for those who dare to lead.
Surely her day shall come again, surely her breed be born
To urge the hope of humankind and scale the peaks of morn --

To fight as they who fought till death their bloody field upon,
And kept the gate against the Fate frowning on Babylon.
Babylon has fallen!  Nay;  for Babylon falls never;
Her seat is in the aspiring brain, in nerves that leap and quiver;
Upon her towers of ancient dream Prometheus is throned,
And still his ravished spark is flung wherever manhood's owned.
All vices, crimes, and mutinies were Babylon's:  and then
All honours, prides, and ecstasies -- for in her streets were Men;
And Man by Man must snatch the torch that lights the race alive:
Yea, here and now her citizens, as in the years far gone,
Stone by stone, and joy with moan, upbuild Babylon.

OK, I'm not that happy about the "Men"/"Man" part either.  But parts of
this seem to be ABOUT "Babylon 5" -- especially 

> Babylon has fallen!  Aye;  but Babylon endures

("What is loved endures.  And Babylon 5 endures") and

> Wherever human wisdom shines or human folly lures;

-- Didn't you describe "Babylon 5," in some early interviews, as "a
cross between the U.N. and Times Square"?  Human wisdom and human folly

Anyhow, this is just a little gift for you, Joe, in hopes that you will
enjoy it maybe about one/one-hundredth as I have enjoyed and benefited
from your show.  Consider it lagniappe (as Harlan would say)....

Moira Russell

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 17 May 1998 15:11:10 -0600
Lines: 8

Never came across that one totally, massively cool.


(jmsatb5 at
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