Thursday, June 15, 2006
From which this pillared pile has grown,
Unto man's need how long unknown,
Since those thy temples, court and cone,
Rose far in desert history?
Ah! what is here that does not lie
All strange to thine awakened eye?
Ah! what is here can testify
(Save that dumb presence of the sky)
Unto thy day and Nineveh?
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Burden of Nineveh
Hope you'll indulge an old English Major -- how often do you get to pull out a classic poem about the very thing you're looking at? Wingèd Beasts from Ninevah are far and few between.
(Just you be glad I didn't paste in all 20 stanzas.)
This fellow now lives at the Oriental Institute in Chicago, and he's quite extraordinary, really.