The Valley Of The Nile.

A poem by Thomas Moore

Far as the sight can reach, beneath as clear
And blue a heaven as ever blest this sphere,
Gardens and pillared streets and porphyry domes
And high-built temples, fit to be the homes
Of mighty gods, and pyramids whose hour
Outlasts all time, above the waters tower!

Then, too, the scenes of pomp and joy that make
One theatre of this vast peopled lake,
Where all that Love, Religion, Commerce gives
Of life and motion, ever moves and lives,
Here, up in the steps of temples, from the wave
Ascending, in procession slow and grave,
Priests in white garments go, with sacred wands
And silver cymbals gleaming in their hands:
While there, rich barks--fresh from those sunny tracts
Far off, beyond the sounding cataracts--
Glide with their precious lading to the sea,
Plumes of bright birds, rhinoceros' ivory,
Gems from the isle of Meroë, and those grains
Of gold, washed down by Abyssinian rains.

Here, where the waters wind into a bay
Shadowy and cool, some pilgrims on their way
To Saïs or Bubastus, among beds
Of lotos flowers that close above their heads,
Push their light barks, and hid as in a bower
Sing, talk, or sleep away the sultry hour,
While haply, not far off, beneath a bank
Of blossoming acacias, many a prank
Is played in the cool current by a train
Of laughing nymphs, lovely as she whose chain
Around two conquerors of the world was cast;
But, for a third too feeble, broke at last.

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