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

Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Alexandria


By Nicholas Michell (1807–1880)

(From Ruins of Many Lands)

ONE city yet, and Nile’s time-hallowed shore

Our fondly lingering step detains no more.

Domes, minarets, their spiry heads that rear,

Mocking with gaudy hues the ruins near;

Dim crumbling colonnades, and marble walls,

Rich columns, broken statues, roofless halls;

Beauty, deformity, together thrown,

A maze of ruins, date, design unknown,—

Such is the scene, the conquest Time hath won,

Such the famed city built by Philip’s son.

Ah me! mid tottering towers, and regal tombs,

Tall sculptured columns, echoing catacombs,

How Turkish piles, and works of modern art,

Chafe with romance, and bid high dreams depart!