The Sphinx

Nicholas Michell

The Sphinx, like some vast thing of monstrous birth,
Begot by mountains of the labouring earth,
Or darkly heaved from Pinto's realms below,
Save that too sweet those Ethiop features glow,
Too sadly calm, majestic, and benign,
To image aught but attributes divine, —
These fade like dreams, as down the Nile once more
We urge our course from Memphis' sandy shore.


The Great Sphinx beside the pyramids at Giza, Cairo has amazed travellers for millenia. Its nose was shot off by Napoleon's gunners who used it for artillery practice.