Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Africa
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Africa: Vol. XXIV.  1876–79.
 
Introductory to Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia
The Sons of Cush
William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)
 
(From The Spirit of Discovery, Book II)

                STILL fearful of the flood,
They on the marble range and cloudy heights
Of that vast mountain barrier,—which uprises
High o’er the Red Sea coast, and stretches on
With the sea-line of Afric’s southern bounds        5
To Sofala,—delved in the granite mass
Their dark abode, spreading from rock to rock
Their subterranean cities, whilst they heard,
Secure, the rains of vexed Orion rush.
Emboldened they descend, and now their fanes        10
On Egypt’s champaign darken, whilst the noise
Of caravans is heard, and pyramids
In the pale distance gleam. Imperial Thebes
Starts, like a giant, from the dust; as when
Some dread enchanter waves his wand, and towers        15
And palaces far in the sandy wilds
Spring up: and still, her sphinxes, huge and high,
Her marble wrecks colossal, seem to speak
The work of some great arm invisible,
Surpassing human strength; while toiling Time,        20
That sways his desolating scythe so vast,
And weary Havoc murmuring at his side,
Smite them in vain.
 
 
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