Home  »  library  »  poem  »  The Nile

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Nile

By Leigh Hunt (1784–1859)

IT flows through old, hushed Ægypt and its sands,

Like some grave, mighty thought threading a dream;

And times and things, as in that vision, seem

Keeping along it their eternal stands,—

Caves, pillars, pyramids, the shepherd bands

That roamed through the young world, the glory extreme

Of high Sesostris, and that southern beam,

The laughing queen that caught the world’s great hands.

Then comes a mightier silence, stern and strong,

As of a world left empty of its throng,

And the void weighs on us; and then we wake,

And hear the fruitful stream lapsing along

’Twixt villages, and think how we shall take

Our own calm journey on for human sake.