Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CLEOPATRA DYING, by THOMAS STEPHENS COLLIER

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CLEOPATRA DYING, by            
First Line: Sinks the sun below the desert
Last Line: Egypt, antony, farewell.
Alternate Author Name(s): Collyer, Thomas Stephens

SINKS the sun below the desert,
Golden glows the sluggish Nile;
Purple flame crowns Spring and Temple,
Lights up every ancient pile
Where the old gods now are sleeping;
Isis and Osiris great,
Guard me, help me, give me courage
Like a Queen to meet my fate.

"I am dying, Egypt, dying,"
Let the Caesar's army come --
I will cheat him of his glory,
Though beyond the Styx I roam;
Shall he drag this beauty with him --
While the crowd his triumph sings?
No, no, never! I will show him
What lies in the blood of Kings.

Though he hold the golden scepter,
Rule the Pharaoh's sunny land,
Where old Nilus rolls resistless
Through the sweeps of silvery sand --
He shall never say I met him
Fawning, abject, like a slave --
I will foil him, though to do it
I must cross the Stygian wave.

Oh, my hero, sleeping, sleeping --
Shall I meet you on the shore
Of Plutonian shadows? Shall we
In death meet and love once more?
See, I follow in your footsteps --
Scorn the Caesar in his might;
For your love I will leap boldly
Into realms of death and night.

Down below the desert sinking,
Fades Apollo's brilliant car;
And from out the distant azure
Breaks the bright gleam of a star.
Venus, Queen of Love and Beauty,
Welcomes me to death's embrace,
Dying, free, proud, and triumphant,
The last sovereign of my race.

Dying, dying! I am coming,
Oh, my hero, to your arms;
You will welcome me, I know it --
Guard me from all rude alarms.
Hark! I hear the legions coming,
Hear the cries of triumph swell,
But, proud Caesar, dead I scorn you --
Egypt, Antony, farewell.

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