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

Syria: Tyre (Soor)


By William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)

(From The Spirit of Discovery by Sea)

SO did thy ships to earth’s wide bounds proceed,

O Tyre! and thou wert rich and beautiful

In that thy day of glory. Carthage rose,

Thy daughter, and the rival of thy fame,

Upon the sands of Lybia; princes were

Thy merchants; on thy golden throne thy state

Shone, like the orient sun. Dark Lebanon

Waved all his pines for thee; for thee the oaks

Of Bashan towered in strength: thy galleys cut,

Glittering, the sunny surge; thy mariners,

On ivory benches, furled the embroidered sails,

That looms of Egypt wove, or to the oars,

That measuring dipped, their choral sea-songs sung;

The multitude of isles did shout for thee,

And cast their emeralds at thy feet, and said,

Queen of the Waters, who is like to thee!

So wert thou glorious on the seas, and saidst,

I am a god, and there is none like me.

But the dread voice prophetic is gone forth:

Howl, for the whirlwind of the desert comes!

Howl ye again, for Tyre, her multitude

Of sins and dark abominations cry

Against her, saith the Lord; in the mid seas

Her beauty shall be broken; I will bring

Her pride to ashes; she shall be no more;

The distant isles shall tremble at the sound

When thou dost fall; the princes of the sea

Shall from their thrones come down, and cast away

Their gorgeous robes; for thee they shall take up

A bitter lamentation, and shall say,

How art thou fallen, renowned city! thou,

Who wert enthroned glorious on the seas,

To rise no more!