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

Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Philæ, the Island


By Thomas Gold Appleton (1812–1884)

O NUBIAN moon, the silence, is it thine

Which follows us by this enchanted shore;

Haunting thy shadows’ gloom as they incline

Like basalt shafts prone on the ivory floor?

A peopled silence, where old shapes divine

In long procession pass each sculptured door.

Nor wholly voiceless, for each rustling wave,

Trembling mimosa, and dim palmy crest,

And the low zephyr lingering by his grave,

Who needed not its dark oblivious rest,

Whisper—till every silent architrave,

And stately pylon own the immortal Guest,

And the wave bears it as its waters pour,

Murmuring Osiris through the Cataract’s roar!