To the great Pyramid I came; its stair
With female choirs was thronged, the loveliest
Among the free, grouped with its sculptures rare.
As I approached, the morning's golden mist,
Which now the wonder-stricken breezes kissed
With their cold lips, fled, and the summit shone
Like Athos seen from Samothracia, dressed
In earliest light, by vintagers; and One
Sate there, a female Shape upon an ivory throne: —
The reference in this poem to "Athos seen from Samothracia" comes from Virgil's Aeneid. Athos is situated on the peninsula of Halkidiki in Greece; it is the home of the Eastern Orthodox Church and is known as the Holy Mountain because it is totally given over to monasticism, prayer and worship. Samothracia (modern Samothrakia) is an Aegean island.
Last modified 22 January 2002