by John William Burgon, ca. 1845
It seems no work of man's creative hand
By labour wrought as wavering fancy planned;
But from the rock, as if by magic grown,
Eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!
Not white, like that old Doric shrine,
Where erst Athena held her rites divine,
Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane
That crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;
But rose-red, as if the blush of dawn
That first beheld it had not yet withdrawn;
The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,
Which man deemed old two thousand years ago.
Match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,
A rose-red city half as old as time!
|A ROSE-RED CITY
|The sandstone of
Mount Hor gives
|Petra's theatre could seat 3,000 people.
|Left, mosaics in a Petra
church; above, fossil
embedded in a rock.
by Percy Bysshe Shelley, ca. 1820
I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings -
Look on my work, ye mighty and despair!"
But nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
|Two goats sun themselves amid the ruins of Petra.
|Another close-up of the incredible rock formations in Petra.
Many excellent photos of Petra and the rock formations in it
National Geographic article: "Lost City" of Petra Still has Secrets
Petra Photos at Flickr
Brown University Excavations at Petra
Official Petra site of Jordanian Tourism Board
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|This structure began life as a temple and was later used as a church and monastery.
|Photos on this page are courtesy of: ShelbyPDX, Gabriele Asnaghi, amerune,
douglaspperkins, PatrikPangerl & sharnik at Flickr Creative Commons; Berthold
Werner, Etan J. Tal & Jean-Brice DeMoulin at Wikimedia Commons