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Where pale mirages shift and fade,
Across the desert's shadeless waste,
Doomed like prisoners they stand,
Rank on rank in shape grotesque.


Here a twisted club uplifted
Fitted for a Titan's hand,
There a dial finger marking
The burning hours on the sand.


Through the torrid days in silence
Pulses white the quivering air,
Dream they not of streams that rush
Through the dewy meadows greenly fair?


Creatures of some fell enchantment
Such as haunt a goblin tale,
Spectral when the moon is furling
Overhead her crescent sail.


Nature's outcast children these,
Naked, fled to desert land,
Ishmaelites, and thus forever
Springs a sword within their hand.