Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Arabia: Desert of Arabia

The Locusts

By Robert Southey (1774–1843)

(From Thalaba the Destroyer, Book III)

THEN Moath pointed where a cloud

Of locusts, from the desolated fields

Of Syria, winged their way.

“Lo! how created things

Obey the written doom.”

Onward they came, a dark continuous cloud

Of congregated myriads numberless,

The rushing of whose wings was as the sound

Of some broad river, headlong in its course

Plunged from a mountain summit; or the roar

Of a wild ocean in the autumnal storm,

Shattering its billows on a shore of rocks.

Onward they came, the winds impelled them on,

Their work was done, their path of ruin past,

Their graves were ready in the wilderness.