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.
 
Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Nile, the River
Memnon
Bryan Waller Procter (1787–1874)
 
(From Michael Angelo)

METHOUGHT I lived three thousand years ago,
Somewhere in Egypt, near a pyramid;
And in my dream I heard black Memnon playing:
He stood twelve cubits high, and, with a voice
Like thunder when it breaks on hollow shores,        5
Called on the sky, which answered. Then he awoke
His marble music, and with grave sweet sounds
Enchanted from her chamber the coy Dawn.
He sang, too,—oh, such songs! Silence, who lay
Torpid upon those wastes of level sand,        10
Stirred and grew human; from its shuddering reeds
Stole forth the crocodile, and birds of blood
Hung listening in the rich and burning air.
 
 
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