Page images

The Son of the Unnamed, the Everlasting,
Command these stones beneath thy feet to be
Changed into bread for thee!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.



EARD ye, from Rama's ruined walls,
That voice of bitter weeping!
Is it the moan of fettered slave,


His watch of sorrow keeping?
Heard ye, from Rama's wasted plains,
That cry of lamentation!

Is it the wail of Israel's sons,
For Salem's devastation?

Ah, no,
a sorer ill than chains
That bitter wail is waking,
And deeper woe than Salem's fall
That tortured heart is breaking:
'Tis Rachel, of her sons bereft,

Who lifts that voice of weeping;
And childless are the eyes that there
Their watch of grief are keeping.

O, who shall tell what fearful pangs
That mother's heart are rending,

As o'er her infant's little grave
Her wasted form is bending;
From many an eye that weeps to-day
Delight may beam to-morrow;
But she, her precious babe is not!
And what remains but sorrow?

Bereaved one! I may not chide

Thy tears and bitter sobbing, -
Weep on! 't will cool that burning brow,
And still that bosom's throbbing :

But be not thine such grief as theirs
To whom no hope is given,
Snatched from the world, its sins and snares,
Thy infant rests in heaven.

George Washington Doane.

Samaria (Sebaste).


BUT seek ye ruins? Pilgrim, raise thine eye,

'Tis Herod's city, built where Israel reared
Samaria's walls, ere conquering Rome appeared,
Royal Sebaste, crowning Shemer's brow,
A spot of wildness and of silence now.
See yon fair pillars threatening soon to fall,
Once rich with gold, they graced a royal hall;

Calm on their tops the raven folds his wing,

And round their base long grass and thistles spring:
And this was Herod's palace, luxury's slave,
Who ruled the land to Jordan's northern wave;
And here his goblets flowed, fair women sang,
And charming night, sweet harp and tabret rang:
Yes, by these pillars, mourners of the wild,
Once danced Herodias' beauty-beaming child;
Here waved her locks, and pealed her laughter sweet,
And, light as fairy's, gleamed her sandalled feet.
The prince, who gazed with rapture in his eye,
Naught to that fair enchantress could deny:
A mother's hate then burned, and sped the blow
That smote a prophet in those cells below.

But Christian relics, too, are rising near; Shall not yon moss-grown fane the heart revere? The massy buttress and the solid tower Reluctant yield to Time's o'erwhelming power; No more shall sound beneath those arches dim, The voice of prayer, the holy choral hymn; No more the priest his burning censer swing, Or the soul mount on rapt Devotion's wing. Helena! peace to thee, whose pious hand With Christian shrines thus decked this sainted land; Bright on thy memory honor's beams be shed! As amaranths now adorn thine angel head.

Nicholas Michell.


Shechem (Nablous).



ET hallowed be the land where Joseph sleeps,
And Jacob's Well, tradition guards and keeps.
Though gone the shrine which graced the holy hill,
Green wave the woods on high Gerizim still:
Soft pipes the lonely bird at dying day,

Where incense rolled, and priests were wont to pray,
And Ebal, towering north of Shechem's vale,
Lifts its wild rocks, and echoes back the tale; ·
Each knoll in emerald mantle seems arrayed,
And countless rills make music through the shade.
Nicholas Michell.

Siloam, the Pool of.



END o'er the waste where now no floweret springs, But bloomed of yore the "Garden of the Kings"; Ye reach an opening pierced in Ophel's side, While high beyond the huge mosque lifts its pride, "T is cool Siloam's fount; when palms grew round, Here Jewish minstrels woke their harps' sweet sound, And Hebrew sages, on these rocks reclined,

Taught listening crowds, and scattered pearls of mind,
This rugged path the blessed Apostles trod,
Beneath yon arch once stood their King, their God;
And here the wretch whose eyes were sealed in night,
At Mercy's word received the gift of sight.
Now, on these steps worn smooth by countless feet,
Young Arab maids at eve are wont to meet,
Their fair heads bearing pitchers, and their hands
Wreathing the well's dark sides with flowery bands.
Thou blessed fount! whose crystal waters still
Bubble unchanged beneath that holy hill,-
Fire, war, and ruin, wasting on each side,
Have left untouched thy pure and sparkling tide,
A living coolness in that cell below,
Health in thy dew, and music in thy flow.
Sure angels, while deserting Salem's towers,
And Zion's Mount, and David's perished bowers,
Might hither come, and sorrowing vigil keep,
Glide through the shade, above those waters weep,
And fold their wings, resolving ne'er to flee,
The lingering guardians, hallowed fount! of thee.
Nicholas Michell.


Sodom and Gomorrah.



ET ye up from the wrath of God's terrible day!
Ungirded, unsandalled, arise and away!

'Tis the vintage of blood, 't is the fulness of time, And vengeance shall gather the harvest of crime!"

« PreviousContinue »