Match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,
A rose-red city – half as old as time!
Those are the last two lines of a sonnet by a minor Victorian poet named John William Burgon, and those words, about the ancient city of Petra, won him the coveted Newdigate Prize for poetry at Oxford University in 1845.
Though Burgon never visited the rose-red city he writes about, I will be going to Petra this weekend. I’ll also spend a few days in Wadi Rum, the backdrop for David Lean’s epic “Lawrence of Arabia.”
Will tell you all about it when I return.