by Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)
It flows through old hush’d Egypt 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 roam’d through the young earth, 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.