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The Shudder of the Sphinx

In the land of Huros, Rameses and Sesostris,
But in the time of the Latins and when ruddy Rome
Upraised in bronze and gold her wasted emperors,
This is the hour when the infinite penetrates the heart of man.

Like the elected orb of the great sacred haloes
With which the head of future saints should be encircled,
The moon in blossom smiles her ethereal dreams
In sidereal incense brushing against the holy land.

Far in the blue sands of the biblical desert,
Reclining in her secrecy and beatitude,
The Egyptian monster, with her half-open eye,
Gazes at eternity amid the solitude.

Not a breath in the night. But, at times, persistently,
The distant howling of an old beast that roams
And with long-drawn snuffling, turned horizonwards,
Scents the tragic exhalmations of Herod's great crime.

Poem by Jean Delville
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