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MONROE, Harriet

The Assouan Dam

There is a lake at Philae

Where once a temple rose.

Steel walls confront the river,

The great gates open and close;

And through parched wastes the wilful Nile

Obediently flows.

There is a lake at Philae

And starving mouths are fed.

The old gods of the desert

Sleep in the river’s bed.

So still in wave-locked halls they lie —

It may be they are dead.