Pile upon pile of bleaching bone, and a foul,
WIth now and again a mighty moan to break
on the hush of death–
Sluggish streams, and silver beams of a
Silent moon on high–
God forfend I should meet my end in the
Place where the elephants die!
“The Place Where The Elephants Die” by Cullen Gouldsbury
I first came across this poem in 2004 when I was in South Africa. The reserve I was staying in left this snippet of the poem on everyone’s pillow the first night at camp, which made seeing the elephants up close so much more profound, and even eerie. I’ll never forget it.