Vast and mysterious brother, ere was yet of me
So much as men may poise upon a needle's end,
Still shook with laughter all this monstrous might of thee,
And still with haughty crest it called the morning friend.
Thy latticed column jetted up the bright blue air,
Tall as a mast it was, and stronger than a tower;
Three hundred winters had beheld thee mighty there,
Before my little life had lived one little hour.
With rocky foot stern-set like iron in the land,
With leafy rustling crest the morning sows with pearls,
Huge as a minster, half in heaven men saw thee stand,
Thy rugged girth the waists of fifty Eastern girls.
Knotted and warted, slabbed and armoured like the hide
Of tropic elephant; unstormable and steep
As some grim fortress with a princess-pearl inside,
Where savage guardian faces beard the bastioned keep: