Nicholas Michell

But Nubia's sands are passed, and Egypt's palm
Hangs o'er the cataract it may not calm,
And Philae's ruined shrines reflect the beam,
Like Naiads' dwellings bosomed on the stream.
Thrice beauteous isle! the hills e'en seem to press
More near to scan its marble loveliness,
And birds, enamoured, seek its sheltering towers,
And fairies tow'rds it sail on lotus flowers.*

(Extract from Ruins of Many Lands)

*Author's Note: The isle of Philae, near the first cataract, the ancient boundary of Egypt, is full of ruins of the Ftolemiac period, and from its fine situation it has obtained the name of " The Beautiful."

The original site of Philae was inundated because of the building of the Aswan Dams. In the 1960s, UNESCO organised the dismantling of the temples and their reconstruction on their current site. It is still a beautiful island place. Perhaps the most romantic and graceful temple complex in Egypt.