« PreviousContinue »
Jehoshaphat (Kedron), the Valley.
TE enter Kedron's vale, -the stony height
Once crowned with olive-forests, bounds our right: Age after age men yielded up their breath, Till millions slumbered in this glen of death; And here with those he loves, in peace to lie, Is still the hapless Hebrew's latest sigh. Ah! where so sadly sweet may scene be found ! Though flowers no longer deck the shrunken mound, And plane and yew have ceased their shade to cast, They, voiceless mourners, dead themselves at last, Here, deep below sad Salem's eastern walls, The garish sunbeam mildly tempered falls; Perched on the tombs, soft plains the hermit-bird, And scarce the Pagan's Allah-cry is heard : Through all, the Kedron pours its placid rill, Sweet Nature's child mid death surviving still; Its low-breathed voice like whispers from the graves, As their stone fronts its limpid wavelet laves. The rocks of Olivet are piled above, Whose shade stcals down, as if in hallowing love. In such a spot the soul, till Judgment-day, Might wish to leave her frail and cumbering clay, Revisiting, at moonlight's holy hour, That vale of peace, where Death has built his bower.
Stately are Kedron's tombs; in yon gray pile Frowns Egypt's strength, while Attic graces smile; Cornice and base are hewn from living rock, Its pointed summit braves Time's lengthened shock: The murdered rests within, those breezes bear To Fancy's ear his last and anguished prayer. Pause we awbile before this columned grot; Mect for calm musing seems the quiet spot, For here, tradition tells, the Apostles came, To hear those words which touched their hearts with
flame. Still further, near yon bridge, whose arch of stone By modern hand across the stream is thrown, A pile more massive, and of statelier height, Like Petra's cliff-hewn temples, meets the sight. Strange towers its form and well may wake surprise; Its top, like flame, is pointing to the skies; And yet no saint, a rebel slumbers here, But ah! to one fond heart how passing dear! The fair-haired Absalom, the gay of mien, Who proud and graceful as a god was seen: Hark to the royal father's heart-breathed sigh! See his rent robe, and sorrow-streaming eye! The crime of him no more he all forgave, And only mourned in dust the lost, the brave !
Nicholas Michell. THE VALLEY OF JENOSHAPHAT.
YOME, Son of Israel, scorned in every land,
Outcast and wandering, come with mournful step Down to the dark vale of Jehoshaplat, And weigh the remnant of thy hoarded gold To buy thyself a grave among the bones Of patriarchs and of prophets and of kings. It is a glorious place to take thy rest, Poor child of Abraham, mid those awful scenes, And sceptred monarchs, who, with Faith's keen eye Piercing the midnight darkness that o’erhung Messiah’s coming, gave their dying flesh Unto the worin, with such a lofty trust In the strong promise of the invisible. Here are damp gales to lull thy dreamless sleep, And murmuring recollections of that lyre Whose passing sweetness bore King David's prayer Up to the ear of Heaven, and of that strain With which the weeping prophet dirge-like sung Doomed Zion's visioned woes. Yon rifted rocks, So faintly purpled by the westering sun, Reveal the unguarded walls, the silent towers, Whicre, in her stricken pomp, Jerusalem Sleeps like a palsied princess, from whose head The diadem hath fallen. Still half concealed In the deep bosom of that burial-vale A fitful torrent, 'neath its time-worn arch Hurries with hoarse tale mid the echoing tombs.
Thou too art near, rude-featured Olivet,
Tell me where
Lydia Huntley Sigourney.
THE TOMB OF ABSALOJ.
Of the deep valley of Jehoshaphat,
Is murmuring near, as if it fain would tell
Say, rememberest thou
Thou heardst it not, For thou within the city's walls didst hold Thy revel brief and base. So thou couldst set The embattled host against thy father's life, The king of Israel, and the loved of God ! He mid the evils of his changeful lot, Saul's moody hatred, stern Philistia's spear, His alien wanderings, and his warrior toil, Found naught so bitter as the rankling thorn Set by thy madness of ingratitude Deep in his yearning soul.
What were thy thoughts When in the mesh of thy own tresses snared