« PreviousContinue »
No! the words of Christ will run,
THE CRUSADERS BEFORE JERUSALEM.
HE purple morning left her crimson bed,
And donned her robes of pure vermilion hue; Her amber locks she crowned with roses red,
In Eden's flowery gardens gathered new ; When through the camp a murmur shrill was spread:
Arm, arm, they cried; arm, arm, the trumpets blew; Their merry noise prevents the joyful blast; So hum small bees, before their swarms they cast.
Their captain rules their courage, guides their heat,
Their forwardness he stayed with gentle rein;
To stop the current near Charybdis' main,
Than fierce desires of warlike hearts restrain ; He rules them yet, and ranks them in their haste, For well he knows disordered speed makes waste.
Feathered their thoughts, their feet in wings were dight,
Swiftly they marched, yet were not tired thereby,
For willing minds make heaviest burdens light;
But when the gliding sun was mounted high, Jerusalem, behold, appeared in sight,
Jerusalem they view, they see, they spy; Jerusalem with merry noise they greet, With joyful shouts, and acclamations sweet.
As when a troop of jolly sailors row,
Some new-found land and country to descry; Through dangerous seas and under stars unknow,
Thrall to the faithless waves and trothless sky;
They all salute it with a joyful cry,
To that delight which their first sight did breed,
That pleased so the secret of their thought, A deep repentance did forth with succeed,
That reverend fear and trembling with it brought. Scantly they durst their feeble eyes dispread
· Upon that town, where Christ was sold and bougit, Where for our sins he, faultless, suffered pain, There where he died, and where he lived again.
Soft words, low speech, deep sobs, sweet sighs, salt tears,
Rose from their breasts, with joy and pleasure mixt; For thus fares he the Lord aright that fears,
Fear on devotion, joy on faith is fixt: Such noise their passions make, as when one hears
The hoarse sea-waves roar hollow rocks betwixt;
Or as the wind in hoults and shady greaves
Following the ensample of their zealous guide; Their scarfs, their crests, their plumes, and feathers gay,
They quickly. doft, and willing laid aside; Their moulten hearts their wonted pride allay,
Along their watery cheeks warm tears down slide, And then such secret speech as this, they used, While to himself each one himself accused :
Flower of goodness, root of lasting bliss,
Thou well of life, whose streams were purple blood That flowed here, to cleanse the foul amiss
Of sinful man, behold this brinish flood,
Receive in gree these tears, O Lord so good,
From tops of Sion's towers, the bills and dales,
As when thick mists arise from moory vales: At last the sun-bright shields he 'gan discover,
And glistering helms, for violence none that fails; The metal shone like lightning bright in skies, And man and horse amid the dust descries.
Then loud he cries, 0, what a dust ariseth!.
O, how it shines with shields and targets clear !
Up, up, to arms, for valiant heart despiseth
The threatened storm of death, and danger near ; Behold your foes : then further thus deviseth ;
Haste, haste, for vain delay encreaseth fear; These horrid clouds of dust, that yonder fly, Your coming foes do hide, and hide the sky.
Torquato Tasso. Tr. E. Fairfax.
ON THE DAY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM BY
I beheld thee, O Sion, when rendered to Rome: ’T was thy last sun went down, and the flames of thy
fall Flashed back on the last glance I gave to thy wall.
I looked for thy Temple, I looked for my home,
On many an eve the high spot whence I gazed
And now on that mountain I stood on that day, But I marked not the twilight beam melting away!
O, would that the lightning had glared in its stead, And the thunderbolt burst on the conqueror's head !
But the gods of the Pagan shall never profane
Arays around the source of light
Stream upward ere he glow in sight,
Set the clear heavens on fire;
Is gathered in that choir.
One presses on, and welcomes death;
Content to die or live:
Unconscious witness give.
Foremost and nearest to his throne,