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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A King in Egypt

By Helen Thayer Hutcheson (1860–1886)

[Born near Quasquetion, Iowa, 1860. Died in Washington, D.C., 1886.]

I THINK I lie by the lingering Nile,

I think I am one that has lain long while,

My lips sealed up in a solemn smile,

In the lazy land of the loitering Nile.

I think I lie in the Pyramid,

And the darkness weighs on the closed eyelid,

And the air is heavy where I am hid,

With the stone on stone of the Pyramid.

I think there are graven godhoods grim,

That look from the walls of my chamber dim,

And the hampered hand and the muffled limb

Lie fixed in the spell of their gazes grim.

I think I lie in a languor vast,

Numb, dumb soul in a body fast,

Waiting long as the world shall last,

Lying cast in a languor vast.

Lying muffled in fold on fold,

With the gum and the gold and the spice enrolled,

And the grain of a year that is old, old, old,

Wound around in the fine-spun fold.

The sunshine of Egypt is on my tomb;

I feel it warming the still, thick gloom,

Warming and waking an old perfume,

Through the carven honors upon my tomb.

The old sunshine of Egypt is on the stone;

And the sands lie red that the wind hath sown,

And the lean, lithe lizard at play alone

Slides like a shadow across the stone.

And I lie with the Pyramid over my head,

I am lying dead, lying long, long dead,

With my days all done, and my words all said,

And the deeds of my days written over my head.

St. Nicholas. 1890.