Seated in a Moorish garden
On the Sahel of Algiers,
Wandering breezes brought the burden
Of its history in past years.
Lost amidst the mist of ages,
Its first chronicles arise;
Yonder is the chain of Atlas,
And the pagan paradise!
Past these shores the wise Phoenicians
Coasted outwards towards the west,
Hoping there to find Atlantis,
And the Islands of the Blest.
Somewhere in these mystic valleys
Grew the golden-fruited trees,
Which the wandering son of Zeus
Stole from the Hesperides.
Many monsters, famed in story,
Had their habitations here,
Scaly coats and tresses hoary
Struck adventurous souls with fear.
Not far off lived Polyphemus,
Glaring with his single eye;
Sailors wrecked upon these waters
Only gained their brink to die.
But if ever, while carousing,
Rescued travellers told their feats, -
How the elephants came browsing
From the inner desert-heats -
How the dragons and the griffins
Likewise howled along the shore -
Those who listened bade their footsteps
Seek those dreadful realms no more!