Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
Persia: Gheber’s Cliff
Gheber’s Cliff
Thomas Moore (1779–1852)
(From Lalla Rookh)

THERE stood—but one short league away
  From old Harmozia’s sultry bay—
A rocky mountain, o’er the Sea
Of Oman beetling awfully;
A last and solitary link        5
  Of those stupendous chains that reach
From the broad Caspian’s reedy brink
  Down winding to the Green Sea beach.
Around its base the bare rocks stood,
Like naked giants, in the flood,        10
  As if to guard the Gulf across;
While on its peak, that braved the sky,
A ruined temple towered, so high
  That oft the sleeping albatross
Struck the wild ruins with her wing,        15
And from her cloud-rocked slumbering
Started—to find man’s dwelling there
In her own silent fields of air!
Beneath, terrific caverns gave
Dark welcome to each stormy wave        20
That dashed like midnight revellers in,—
And such the strange, mysterious din
At times throughout those caverns rolled,—
And such the fearful wonders told
Of restless sprites imprisoned there,        25
That bold were Moslem, who would dare,
At twilight hour, to steer his skiff
Beneath the Gheber’s lonely cliff.

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