Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Feb. 27, 1807 - Mar. 24, 1882


Sand Of The Desert In An Hour-Glass

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A handful of red sand, from the hot clime
Of Arab deserts brought,
Within this glass becomes the spy of Time,
The minister of Thought.

How many weary centuries has it been
About those deserts blown!
How many strange vicissitudes has seen,
How many histories known!

Perhaps the camels of the Ishmaelite
Trampled and passed it o'er,
When into Egypt from the patriarch's sight
His favourite son they bore.

Perhaps the feet of Moses, burnt and bare,
Crushed it beneath their tread;
Or Pharaoh's flashing wheels into the air
Scattered it as they sped;

Or Mary, with the Christ of Nazareth
Held close in her caress,
Whose pilgrimage of hope and love and faith
Illumed the wilderness;

Or anchorites beneath Engaddi's palms
Pacing the Dead Sea beach,
And singing slow their old Armenian psalms
In half-articulate speech;

Or caravans, that from Bassora's gate
With westward steps depart;
Or Mecca's pilgrims, confident of Fate,
And resolute in heart!

These have passed over it, or may have passed!
Now in this crystal tower
Imprisoned by some curious hand at last,
It counts the passing hour.

And as I gaze, these narrow walls expand: --
Before my dreamy eye
Stretches the desert with its shifting sand,
Its unimpeded sky.

And borne aloft by the sustaining blast,
This little golden thread
Dilates into a column high and vast,
A form of fear and dread.

And onward, and across the setting sun,
Across the boundless plain,
The column and its broader shadow run,
Till thought pursues in vain.

The vision vanishes! These walls again
Shut out the lurid sun,
Shut out the hot immeasurable plain,
The half-hour's sand is run!


Longfellow's Poetical Works
Copyright 1893
Henry Frowde, London

Recommended Works

Madeline - Henry TimrodThou Art, O God - Thomas MooreTo A Blank Sheet Of Paper - Oliver Wendell HolmesWe Are Seven - William WordsworthIn Flanders Fields - John McCraeWas, Is, And Yet-To-Be - Ella Wheeler WilcoxRemember The Alamo - Rose Hartwick ThorpeThe Family - Bayard TaylorEndure - Achsa White SpragueLost At Sea - Thomas Bailey AldrichContentment - Oliver Wendell HolmesTis Sweet To Think - Thomas MooreThe Bells of Lynn - Henry Wadsworth LongfellowThe Flowers In The Cemetery - Hannah Flagg GouldAvenging and Bright Fell The Swift Sword Of Erin - Thomas MooreThe Rock-A-By Lady - Eugene FieldO Lay Thy Hand In Mine, Dear! - Gerald MasseyWhat Love Is - Ella Wheeler WilcoxSand Of The Desert In An Hour-Glass - Henry Wadsworth LongfellowStrange Meeting - Wilfred OwenThe House Of Clouds - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningThe Bells - Edgar Allan PoeMistakes - Ella Wheeler WilcoxThe Sandpiper - Celia ThaxterSpoken - Helen Hunt JacksonThe Rose - James Whitcomb RileyRain And Wind - Madison Julius CaweinWedded Love - James NackEpitaph On Holy Willie - Robert BurnsConstancy - Ella Wheeler WilcoxThe Husband Speaks - Elizabeth StoddardCold And Quiet - Jean IngelowMomus, God Of Laughter - Ella Wheeler WilcoxThe Salt Sea-Wind - Ella Wheeler WilcoxThe Beautiful Land Of Nod - Ella Wheeler WilcoxThe Wife Speaks - Elizabeth StoddardThe Old Clock On The Stairs - Henry Wadsworth LongfellowDaily Trials - Oliver Wendell HolmesEndymion - Henry Wadsworth LongfellowAchievements - Ella Wheeler WilcoxWoman - Ella Wheeler WilcoxThe Favorite Flower - Celia ThaxterThe Mother's Pride - James NackThe Soul's Expression - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningWhat We Need - Ella Wheeler WilcoxFalse Poets And True - Thomas HoodTo Autumn - John KeatsThe Iron Pen - Henry Wadsworth LongfellowFishing - Ella Wheeler WilcoxLove's Extravagance - Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Link To This Page