Sonnet To The Nile


    Son of the old Moon-mountains African!
    Chief of the Pyramid and Crocodile!
    We call thee fruitful, and that very while
    A desert fills our seeing's inward span:
    Nurse of swart nations since the world began,
    Art thou so fruitful? or dost thou beguile
    Such men to honour thee, who, worn with toil,
    Rest for a space 'twixt Cairo and Decan?
    O may dark fancies err! They surely do;
    'Tis ignorance that makes a barren waste
    Of all beyond itself. Thou dost bedew
    Green rushes like our rivers, and dost taste
    The pleasant sunrise. Green isles hast thou too,
    And to the sea as happily dost haste.


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