Hot blows the wild simoom across the waste,
The desert waste, amid the dreary sand,
With fiery breath swift burning up the land,
O'er the scared pilgrim, speeding on in haste,
Hurling fierce death-drifts with broad-scorching hand.
O weary Wilderness! No shady tree
To spread its arms around the fainting soul;
No spring to sparkle in the parchèd bowl;
No refuge in the drear immensity,
Where lies the Past, wreck'd 'neath a sandy sea,
Where o'er its glories blighting billows roll.
Ho! Sea, yield up thy buried dead again;
Heave back thy waves, and let the Past arise;
Restore Time's relics to the startled skies,
Till giant shadows tremble on the plain,
And awe the heart with old-world mysteries!
Old Menmon! Once again thy Poet-voice
May sing sweet paeans to the golden Morn,
Again may hail the saviour Light sun-born,
And bid the wild and desert waste rejoice,--
Again with sighs the looming darkness mourn.
Thou Watchman, waiting weary for the dawn,
Breathing low longings for its golden light,
Through the dim silence of the drowsy night,
What wistful sighs with thine are softly drawn,
Till day-beams on the darken'd spirit smite!
The dawning light of Knowledge smites thee now,
And forth from the dim Past come voices clear,
Falling in solemn music on the ear,
Which, as the haloes brighten on thy brow,
Shall still in richer harmonies draw near.
The Past comes back in music soft and sweet,
And lo! the Present like a strung harp stands
Waiting the sweeping of prophetic hands,
To send its living music, loud and fleet,
Careering calmly through unnumber'd lands.
Then swift uprise, thou Sun, thou Music-Maker!
Smiting the chords of Life with gladsome rays,
Till from each Memnon burst the song of praise,
From lips which thou hast freed, O silence-breaker!
That over Earth the sound may swell always.