She’s sleeping there on the chaise,
on her face a gentle look;
dreaming no doubt of flowers,
and quiet hours with a book.
Her eyes are closed, her heart eased,
and I am pleased that she rests;
May her dreams be sweet and kind,
and may she find peaceful hours.
When she wakes in the morning
may the day bring her gladness
filled with laughter and sunshine
and a decline in sadness.
I listen to her soft snore,
wanting no more than her joy;
she fills where I am nothing,
and brings happiness sublime.
Alexandria, what tones
and intense groans you evoke
from man’s memory, proud nest
of the best that ancients spoke
concerning science, the gods,
how fate plods: what you preserved
of the past’s glory that now
into the sand’s brow has swerved,
lost for all time! Had you stood,
Serapeum, would our schools
not still be teaching the scrolls
that lined your walls? would not fools
who thought the ancient world lacked
any ear for fact be seen
for the emptiness they are?
But your star has lost its sheen—
quite literally, since sight
no more sees light from the isle
Pharos with its beacon tall
whose beam’s call announced with style
that here stood Ptolemy’s gem,
pliant stem of writing’s bloom,
swaying with those winds of thought
it had wrought to rend man’s gloom.