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

Introductory to Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia


By Bayard Taylor (1825–1878)

A LAND of Dreams and Sleep,—a poppied land!

With skies of endless calm above her head,

The drowsy warmth of summer noonday shed

Upon her hills, and silence stern and grand

Throughout her Desert’s temple-burying sand.

Before her threshold, in their ancient place,

With closéd lips, and fixed, majestic face,

Noteless of Time, her dumb colossi stand.

O, pass them not with light, irreverent tread;

Respect the dream that builds her fallen throne,

And soothes her to oblivion of her woes.

Hush! for she does but sleep; she is not dead:

Action and Toil have made the world their own,

But she hath built an altar to Repose.