William Wetmore Story

On the Desert

All around,

To the bound

Of the vast horizon's round,

All sand, sand, sand—

All burning, glaring sand—

On my camel's hump I ride,

As he sways from side to side,

With an awkward step of pride,

And his scraggy head uplifted, and his eye

So long and bland.

Naught is near,

In the blear

And the simmering atmosphere,

But the shadow on the sand,

The shadow of the camel on the sand;

All alone as I ride

O'er the desert's ocean wide,

It is ever at my side;

It haunts me, it pursues me, if I flee or if I stand.

Not a sound

All around

Save the paddled heat and bound

Of the camel on the sand

Of the feet of the camel on the sand.

Not a bird is in the air,

Though the sun, with burning stare,

Is prying everywhere,

O'er the yellow thirsty desert, so

Desolately grand.