Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Africa
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Africa: Vol. XXIV.  1876–79.
 
Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Alexandria
Alexandria
William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)
 
(From The Spirit of Discovery by Sea)

STAND on the gleaming Pharos, and aloud
Shout, Commerce, to the kingdoms of the earth;
Shout, for thy golden portals are set wide,
And all thy streamers o’er the surge, aloft,
In pomp triumphant wave. The weary way        5
That pale Nearchus passed, from creek to creek
Advancing slow, no longer bounds the track
Of the adventurous mariner, who steers
Steady, with eye intent upon the stars,
To Elam’s echoing port. Meantime, more high        10
Aspiring, o’er the Western main her towers
The imperial city lifts, the central mart
Of nations, and beneath the calm clear sky,
At distance from the palmy marge, displays
Her clustering columns, whitening to the morn.        15
  Damascus’ fleece, Golconda’s gems, are there.
Murmurs the haven with one ceaseless hum;
The hurrying camel’s bell, the driver’s song,
Along the sands resound. Tyre, art thou fallen?
A prouder city crowns the inland sea,        20
Raised by his hand who smote thee; as if thus
His mighty mind were swayed to recompense
The evil of his march through cities stormed,
And regions wet with blood! and still had flowed
The tide of commerce through the destined track,        25
Traced by his mind sagacious, who surveyed
The world he conquered with a sage’s eye,
As with a soldier’s spirit.
 
 
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