ANTIQUITIES OF NUBIa.
antiquities of nubia
Here Desolation keeps unbroken sabbath,
'Mid caves, and temples, palaces, and sepulchres;
Ideal images in sculptured forms,
Thoughts hewn in columns, or in caverned hill,
In honor of their deities and of their dead.
We rowed all day, and floated all night at the river's will, from
the time we commenced our northern course. The reader by
this time must be as tired of river scenery, palms, villages, and
deserts, as, to say the truth, we began to be ourselves. I shall,
therefore, only allude, as we pass, to the architectural marvels
that fringe this unique river.
Towards evening, on the second day, after leaving Wady
Haifa, we repassed the extraordinary group of pyramidal and
other rocky mountains I have mentioned in ascending the river,
and then arrived at the chief wonder of Nubia, if not of all the
Valley of the Nile. The correct name of this rock-temple is
Abou-Symbal; but it it so much more generally known as Ip-
samboul, tha. I shall make use of that name ; writing as I do for
English, not for Arab readers.
After sailing for some hours through a country quite level on
the eastern bank, we came upon a precipitous rocky mountain,
which starts up so suddenly from the river's edge, that its very
summits are reflected in the water. We moored under a sand-
bank, and, accompanied by half a dozen of the crew with torches,
approached this isolated and stupendous rock. Yet, even here,
the daring Genius of .Ethiopian architecture ventured to enter
into rivalry with Nature's greatness, and found her material in
the very mountain that seemed to bid defiance to her efforts.