The Colossi of Memnon

Bryan Waller Procter

Methought I lived three thousand years ago,    
Somewhere in Egypt, near a pyramid;    
And in my dream I heard black Memnon playing:    
He stood twelve cubits high, and, with a voice    
Like thunder when it breaks on hollow shores,            
Called on the sky, which answered. Then he awoke    
His marble music, and with grave sweet sounds    
Enchanted from her chamber the coy Dawn.    
He sang, too,—oh, such songs! Silence, who lay    
Torpid upon those wastes of level sand,            
Stirred and grew human; from its shuddering reeds    
Stole forth the crocodile, and birds of blood    
Hung listening in the rich and burning air.


There are a number of poems about the Colossi of Memnon - two gigantic seated statues of the Pharaoh Ramasses II - are said to sing. They are found on the west bank of the River Nile at Luxor.