Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Africa
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Africa: Vol. XXIV.  1876–79.
Introductory to Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia
The Colossi
Thomas Gold Appleton (1812–1884)
BENIGNANT, calm, majestically grave,
Earth’s childhood smiling in their lifted eyes,
While the hoar wisdom which the dead years gave
Upon each placid brow engraven lies—
Two on the plain and four beside the wave        5
Keep watch and ward above the centuries.
As is the sand which flies, our little lives
Glitter and whirl a moment and are gone;
A day it lives, then to Oblivion drives
The haughtiest empire and the loftiest throne:        10
Swiftly to all the appointed hour arrives,
Men, nations pass, but they remain alone,
Mute in the azure silence of these skies,
Immortal childhood looking from their eyes.

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