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JACOB'S DREAM

PALMYRA (TADMOR.)

PALMYRA

PALMYRA

TADMOR OF THE WILDERNESS.

G. Croly

N. Michell

J. H. Bright

J. E. Dow.

213

218

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INTRODUCTORY.

ASIA.

WELL

TELL have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale,

Forest and field and flood, temples and towers, Cut shorter many a league: here thou behold'st Assyria, and her empire's ancient bounds, Araxes and the Caspian lake; thence on As far as Indus east, Euphrates west, And oft beyond : to south the Persian bay, And, inaccessible, the Arabian drouth: Here Nineveh, of length within her wall Several days' journey, built by Ninus old, Of that first golden monarchy the seat, And seat of Salmanassar, whose success Israel in long captivity still mourns : There Babylon, the wonder of all tongues, As ancient, but rebuilt by him who twice Judah and all thy father David's house Led captive, and Jerusalem laid waste, Till Cyrus set them free; Persepolis, His city, there thou seest, and Bactra there;

Ecbatana her structure vast there shows,
And Hecatompylos her hundred gates;
There Susa by Choaspes, amber stream,
The drink of none but kings; of later fame,
Built by Emathian or by Parthian hands,
The great Seleucia, Nisibis, and there
Artaxata, Teredon, Ctesiphon,
Turning with easy eye, thou mayst behold.
All these the Parthian (now some ages past,
By great Arsaces led, who founded first
That empire) under his dominion holds,
From the luxurious kings of Antioch won.
And just in time thou com’st to have a view
Of his great power; for now the Parthian king
In Ctesiphon hath gathered all his host
Against the Scythian, whose incursions wild
Have wasted Sogdiana; to her aid
He marches now in haste; see, though from far,
His thousands, in what martial equipage
They issue forth, steel bows and shafts their arms,
Of equal dread in flight or in pursuit ;
All horsemen, in which fight they most excel :
See how in warlike muster they appear,
In rhombs and wedges and half-moons and wings.

He looked, and saw what numbers numberless
The city gates outpoured, light-arméd troops,
In coats of mail and military pride;
In mail their horses clad, yet fleet and strong,
Prancing their riders bore, the flower and choice
Of many provinces from bound to bound :
From Arachosia, from Candaor east,

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