Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
IV. Egypt
By Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)
 
FANTASTIC Sleep is busy with my eyes:
  I seem in some waste solitude to stand
  Once ruled of Cheops: upon either hand
A dark, illimitable desert lies,
Sultry and still,—a realm of mysteries;        5
  A wide-browed Sphinx, half buried in the sand,
  With orbless sockets stares across the land,
The wofulest thing beneath these brooding skies
Where all is woful, weird-lit vacancy.
  ’T is neither midnight, twilight, nor moonrise.        10
Lo! while I gaze, beyond the vast sand-sea
  The nebulous clouds are downward slowly drawn,
And one bleared star, faint-glimmering like a bee,
  Is shut i’ the rosy outstretched hand of Dawn.
 
 
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