Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Africa: Vol. XXIV. 1876–79.

Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Ipsamboul (Abu-Simbel), Nubia

Abu Simbel

By John Bruce Norton (1815–1883)

THIS is the shrine of Silence, sunk and hewn

Deep in the solid rock: its pillars rise

From floor to roof, like giants, with fixed eyes

And palms crossed on their breasts; e’en at mid-noon

A dim light falls around, as though the moon

Were peering at the temple from the skies.

The foot falls soundless on the sand, that lies

A carpet by long centuries thick-strewn.

The mighty shapes that guard the solemn pile,

Unburied, after ages, from the tomb

Heaped on them by the blast of the simoom,

Sit at the portal, gazing, night and day,

O’er the lone desert, stretching far away,

And on the eternal flood of Father Nile.