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

Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Nile, the River

To the Nile

By John Keats (1795–1821)

SON of the old moon-mountains African!

Stream of the pyramid and crocodile!

We call thee fruitful, and that very while

A desert fills our seeing’s inward span:

Nurse of swart nations since the world began,

Art thou so fruitful? or dost thou beguile

Those men to honor thee, who, worn with toil,

Rest them a space ’twixt Cairo and Decan?

O, may dark fancies err! They surely do;

’T is ignorance that makes a barren waste

Of all beyond itself. Thou dost bedew

Green rushes like our rivers, and dost taste

The pleasant sunrise. Green isles hast thou too,

And to the sea as happily dost haste.