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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Lost Caravan
By James Thomson (1700–1748)
 
From the ‘Seasons’—Summer

BREATHED hot
From all the boundless furnace of the sky,
And the wide glittering waste of burning sand,
A suffocating wind the pilgrim smites
With instant death. Patient of thirst and toil,        5
Son of the desert! even the camel feels,
Shot through his withered heart, the fiery blast.
Or from the black-red ether, bursting broad,
Sallies the sudden whirlwind. Straight the sands,
Commoved around, in gathering eddies play;        10
Nearer and nearer still they darkening come;
Till with the general all-involving storm
Swept up, the whole continuous wilds arise;
And by their noonday fount dejected thrown,
Or sunk at night in sad disastrous sleep,        15
Beneath descending hills, the caravan
Is buried deep. In Cairo’s crowded streets
The impatient merchant, wondering, waits in vain,
And Mecca saddens at the long delay.
 
 
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