Flares quietly, subsided on its bed,
Undulant, fi xed, charging with copper fumes
The air where men live, past its farthest ridge.
Full-bellied, in the backs of dens miles off ,
And a giraff e is drinking from blue springs,
In the date-grove where each night panthers creep.
Down the thick air a huge sun circles through;
From time to time some boa warmed in sleep
Will stir a little, dry scales glistening.
But while all lies in a slack solitude
The wrinkled elephants, making for their home,
Advance across the deserts, rude and slow.
They come, holding a straight course through the dunes,
Throwing the dust; under their broad sure feet
The far sand-crests successively break down.
His hide is hard and creviced like old bark,
His skull is like a boulder, and his spine
Bows up with his least eff ort. Powerful,
He guides his followers to the certain goal;
Turning a sandy furrow up behind,
The dusty pilgrim bulks accept his lead.