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

The Barbary States: Carthage


By Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–1838)

LOW it lieth,—earth to earth,—

All to which that earth gave birth:

Palace, market-street, and fane;

Dust that never asks in vain,

Hath reclaimed its own again.

Dust, the wide world’s king.

Where are now the glorious hours

Of a nation’s gathered powers?

Like the setting of a star,

In the fathomless afar;

Time’s eternal wing

Hath around those ruins cast

The dark presence of the past.

Mind, what art thou? dost thou not

Hold the vast earth for thy lot?

In thy toil, how glorious!

What dost thou achieve for us?

Over all victorious

Godlike thou dost seem.

But the perishing still lurks

In thy most immortal works;

Thou dost build thy home on sand,

And the palace-girdled strand

Fadeth like a dream.

Thy great victories only show

All is nothingness below.