Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Americas
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX.  1876–79.
Mexico: Micoat
Nicholas Michell (1807–1880)
(From Ruins of Many Lands)

BUT long ere these fair realms to Cortes bowed,
Or reigned the Aztec, rose the structures proud
Which, more than tomb or temple, form a chain
That links the land to climes beyond the main.
Ah! many a secret of old days lies hid        5
Beneath the ruined moss-clad pyramid!
On Micoat’s plain two stately piles are seen,
Sacred to day’s grand orb and night’s fair queen,
While north and south less towering structures sweep,
Where chiefs, perchance, and lowlier subjects sleep:        10
So on far Nubia’s waste, on Gizeh’s sand,
Small cone-shaped tombs around the mightier stand.
In Tajin’s woods where wanderers rare intrude,
A hunter train the wild red deer pursued;
With hound, and echoing tube, they onward press,        15
But start to see a form of loveliness;
Above the forest, flame-like, springs in air
A graceful tower, like some bright vision there;
From rich-carved base to apex-stone they trace
Egypt’s vast strength and Græcia’s matchless grace;        20
Huge blocks, that well might task man’s power and skill
To move their bulk, on blocks ascending still!
The pensile flower from every crevice peeps,
Up its fair sides the pale gray lichen creeps.
Some faun or wood-nymph, hovering round the spot,        25
Hath surely watched this pile, by man forgot,
And, through revolving ages, charmed away
The scythe of Time, the spectre of Decay.

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