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

Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Assouan (Syene)

Juvenal at Syene

By Thomas Gold Appleton (1812–1884)

HERE at the utmost bound of Roman power,

Thy prison walls the Arabian Libyan waste,

Slave over slaves, thy tyrant bade thee cower,

Even by the soldier’s office more disgraced,

Eating thy indignant heart out through each hour,

And every drop of Exile’s chalice taste.

Take comfort, noble heart, for while the hand

Which held thee loosens in the charnel’s dust,

That shameless forehead bears its eternal brand

Yet in thy living page, and cruelty’s lust

Cut into deathless adamant shall stand,—

So that Oblivion spare its pitying rust,—

But thy name, brightening through these Christian years,

Virtue shall speak it but with grateful tears.