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

‘’Tis Noon; the Light is Fierce’

By José-Maria de Heredia (1842–1905)

Translation of Maurice Francis Egan

’TIS noon; the light is fierce; the air is fire;

The ancient river rolls its waves of lead;

Direct from Heaven day falls overhead,—

Phra covers Egypt in relentless ire.

The eyes of the great sphinx that never tire—

The sphinx that bathes in dust of golden-red—

Follow with mystic looks the unmeasurèd

And needle-pointed pyramidal spire.

A darkened spot is on the sky of white,—

An endless flight of circling vulture wings;

A flame immense makes drowsy all earth’s things.

The ardent soil is sparkling; full in sight

A brass Anubis, silent, still, and stark,

Turns to the sun its never-ending bark.