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

Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Alexandria


By William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)

(From The Spirit of Discovery by Sea)

STAND on the gleaming Pharos, and aloud

Shout, Commerce, to the kingdoms of the earth;

Shout, for thy golden portals are set wide,

And all thy streamers o’er the surge, aloft,

In pomp triumphant wave. The weary way

That pale Nearchus passed, from creek to creek

Advancing slow, no longer bounds the track

Of the adventurous mariner, who steers

Steady, with eye intent upon the stars,

To Elam’s echoing port. Meantime, more high

Aspiring, o’er the Western main her towers

The imperial city lifts, the central mart

Of nations, and beneath the calm clear sky,

At distance from the palmy marge, displays

Her clustering columns, whitening to the morn.

Damascus’ fleece, Golconda’s gems, are there.

Murmurs the haven with one ceaseless hum;

The hurrying camel’s bell, the driver’s song,

Along the sands resound. Tyre, art thou fallen?

A prouder city crowns the inland sea,

Raised by his hand who smote thee; as if thus

His mighty mind were swayed to recompense

The evil of his march through cities stormed,

And regions wet with blood! and still had flowed

The tide of commerce through the destined track,

Traced by his mind sagacious, who surveyed

The world he conquered with a sage’s eye,

As with a soldier’s spirit.