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

Syria: Tyre (Soor)


By John Dyer (1700?–1758)

(From The Fleece)

THE DUST of Carthage; desert shores of Nile;

Or Tyre’s abandoned summit, crowned of old

With stately towers; whose merchants, from their isles,

And radiant thrones, assembled in her marts;

Whither Arabia, whither Kedar, brought

Their shaggy goats, their flocks and bleating lambs;

Where rich Damascus piled his fleeces white,

Prepared, and thirsty for the double tint,

And flowering shuttle. While the admiring world

Crowded her streets; ah! then the hand of pride

Sowed imperceptible his poisonous weed,

Which crept destructive up her lofty domes,

As ivy creeps around the graceful trunk

Of some tall oak. Her lofty domes no more,

Not even the ruins of her pomp, remain;

Not even the dust they sank in; by the breath

Of the Omnipotent offended hurled

Down to the bottom of the stormy deep:

Only the solitary rock remains,

Her ancient site; a monument to those,

Who toil and wealth exchange for sloth and pride.