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When I was a burst of thunder  
Born on the Nubian cliffs,  
And the sands flashed white in wonder,  
And in Khem the curious glyphs  
Shone out from the cavern-tombs  
On the huddled bats in the glooms,  
’Mid the great stone kings I rumbled  
That sit by the river-brinks,  
And my sand-clouds eddied and tumbled  
Round the old stare of the Sphinx;  
Then with harsh-throated cries  
I burst on Memnon’s eyes.  
The force of me made no quiver  
In that earth-ancient gaze;  
I felt my raging shiver  
And shrink to desert-haze,  
And heard in the dawning gold  
The stillness of music old.

© Leslie Holdsworth Allen