James Saunderson

"Contributor to Magazines." (Sharp)

return to sonnet central return to 19th century Americans


He spoke to us of Egypt in her prime;
He showed us pictures of the rock-hewn kings
And Memnon's hoary bulk, that no more sings
His greeting to the morning sun. The time
Slipped back through thirty centuries, dim with rime
And mist that veils the dawn of human things,
Until we felt the awe the great past brings
To us who dwell in this unstoried clime.

And then he paused and turned; the night was torn
With flying clouds, but once, there gleamed a star,--
A single sun of all the heavenly band;
And he, "Lo! that dim light saw Egypt born;
Before it, all earth's ages moments are,
And all her greatness, but a grain of sand.

(Text from American Sonnets)