« PreviousContinue »
Deform and desolate the fainting land !
But deep embosomed in that sandy plain,
side luxuriant palm-trees grew, And hence its name the rising city drew, And though their loveliness has passed away,
The name still lives and triumphs o'er decay. Two sheltering hills precipitously swell On either hand, and form a narrow dell: Thence to the east with undulating bend Wide and more wide their spreading arms extend, Then sink at last with slow retiring sweep, Like distant headlands sloping to the deep.
Outstretched within upon the silent plains Lies the sad wreck of Tadmor's last remains; Outliving still, through each succeeding age, The tempest's fury, and the bigot's rage. He wants no written record who surveys But one short hour this scene of other days: These mouldering piles, that sink in slow decay, In stronger characters the tale convey Than e'er were traced by man's divinest art, These speak in simple language to the heart.
Far to the south what scenes of ruin lie, What sad confusion opens to the eye! There shattered columns swell with giant train, Line after line along the crowded plain, The loosened arch, the roofless colonnade Where midday crowds imbibed the cooling shade.
John Henry Bright.
TADMOR OF THE WILDERNESS.
ENEATH the arch of eastern skies,
On Syria's barren wild,
And hides the desert child,
And while the flush of evening glows
Upon the western sky,
Where Sharon’s zephyrs sigh,
Gigantic loom the “desert ships,”
As steadily they come;
Along his houseless home,
The boundless waste, the fruitless sea,
Where scorching rays are cast,
When danger gathers fast,
The solitude where footprints die,
And prowling lions tread,
In watchfulness and dread :
And now, behold, from towering hill,
The howling city stand
So beautiful and grand;
Half buried in the flowerless sand
Whirled by the eddying blast,
Huge relics of the past;
Palmyra! thou wert great indeed,
When through thy portals passed The Persian on his weary steed,
And found a rest at last
In glory rested here;
While satraps bowed in fear;
And here she oped her portals wide,
And called the wise around;
The sage a refuge found;
When Rome's fierce thousands hither came,
O’er yonder sands she fled,
A sovereign captive led;
And when the gleaming cohorts flung
Their banners o'er thy head,
Before Aurelian's tread,
Jesse Erskine Dow.
Quarantania, the Mount.
TOT in the lightning's flash, nor in the thunder,
Will I array my form;
And whispers in the leaves.
Not as a terror and a desolation,
And dread, will I appear ;
Or voices heard in dreams.
He sitteth there in silence, worn and wasted
To the unpitying skies;
Surely his strength must fail.
Wherefore dost thou in penitential fasting
Ah, if thou be in truth