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

Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Nile, the River


By Bryan Waller Procter (1787–1874)

(From Michael Angelo)

METHOUGHT I lived three thousand years ago,

Somewhere in Egypt, near a pyramid;

And in my dream I heard black Memnon playing:

He stood twelve cubits high, and, with a voice

Like thunder when it breaks on hollow shores,

Called on the sky, which answered. Then he awoke

His marble music, and with grave sweet sounds

Enchanted from her chamber the coy Dawn.

He sang, too,—oh, such songs! Silence, who lay

Torpid upon those wastes of level sand,

Stirred and grew human; from its shuddering reeds

Stole forth the crocodile, and birds of blood

Hung listening in the rich and burning air.