« ZurückWeiter »
For sad the scenes Judæa's plains disclose,
A dreary waste of undistinguished woes.
See War untired his crimson pinions spread,
And foul Revenge, that tramples on the dead.
Lo, where from far the guarded fountains shine,
Thy tents, Nebaioth, rise, and Kedar, thine :
'Tis yours the boast to mark the stranger's way,
And spur your headlong chargers on the prey,
Or rouse your nightly numbers from afar,
And on the hamlet pour the waste of war;
Nor spare the hoary head, nor bid your eye
Revere the sacred smile of infancy.
Such now the clans, whose fiery coursers feed
Where waves on Kishon's bank the whispering
And theirs the soil, where, curling to the skies,
Smokes on Samaria’s mount her scanty sacrifice.
While Israel's sons, by scorpion curses driven,
Outcasts of earth, and reprobate of heaven,
Through the wide world in friendless exile stray,
Remorse and shame sole comrades of their way,
With dumb despair their country's wrongs behold,
And, dead to glory, only burn for gold.
0 Thou, their Guide, their Father, and their
Loved for thy mercies, for thy power adored :
If at thy name the waves forgot their force,
And refluent Jordan sought his trembling source ;
If at thy name like sheep the mountains fled,
And haughty Sirion bowed his marble head ;
To Israel's woes a pitying ear incline,
And raise from earth thy long.neglected vine.
Her rifled fruits behold the heathen bear,
And wild-wood boars her mangled clusters tear.
Was it for this she stretched her peopled reign
From far Euphrates to the western main ?
For this, o'er many a hill her boughs she threw,
And her wide arms like goodly cedars grew ?
For this, proud Edom slept beneath her shade,
And o'er the Arabian deep her branches played ?
O feeble boast of transitory power,
Vain, fruitless trust of Judah's happier hour;
Not such their hope, when through the parted
main The cloudy wonder led the warrior train : Not such their hope, when through the fields of
night The torch of heaven diffused its friendly light: Not, when fierce Conquest urged the onward war And hurled stern Canaan froin his iron car: Nor, when five monarchs led to Gibeon's fight, In rude array, the harnessed Amorite: Yes—in that hour, by mortal accents stayed, The lingering sun his fiery wheels delayed;
The moon, obedient, trembled at the sound, Curbed her pale car, and checked her mazy
round. Let Sinai tell—for she beheld his might, And God's own darkness veiled her mystic
height: (He, cherub-borne, upon the whirlwind rode, And the red mountain like a furnace glowed :) Let Sinai tell-but who shall dare recite His praise, his power,-eternal, infinite? Awe-struck I cease ; nor bid my strains aspire, Or serve his altar with unhallowed fire. Such were the cares that watched o'er Israel's
fate, And such the glories of their infant state. -Triumphant race; and did your power decay? Failed the bright proinise of your early day? No :-by that sword, which, red with heathen
gore, A giant spoil, the stripling champion bore; By him, the chief to farthest India known, The mighty master of the iv'ry throne; In heaven's own strength, high towering o'er
her foes, Victorious Salem's lion banner rose, Before her footstool prostrate nations lay, And vassal tyrants crouched beneath her sway.
-And he, the kingly sage, whose restless mind
Through nature's mazes wandered unconfined;
Who every bird, and beast, and insect knew,
And spake of every plant that quaffs the dew;
To him were known--s0 Hagar's offspring tell--
The powerful sigil and the starry spell,
The midnight call, hell's shadowy legions dread,
And sounds that burst the slumbers of the dead.
Hence all his might ; for who could these op-
And Tadrior thus, and Syrian Balbec rose.
Yet e'en the works of toiling Genii fall,
And vain was Estakbar's enchanted wall.
In frantic converse with the mournful wind,
There oft the houseless Santon rests reclined ;
Strange shapes he views, and drinks with won.
dering ears The voices of the dead,and songs of other years.
Such, the faint echo of departed praise,
Still sound Aratia's legendary lays ;
And thus their fabling bards delight to tell
How lovely were thy tents, O Israel.
For thee his ivory load behemoth bore,
And far Sofala teemed with golden ore;
Thine all the arts that wait on wealth's increase,
Or bask and wanton in the beam of peace.
When Tyber slept beneath the cypress gloon,
And silence held the lonely woods of Rome;
Or ere to Greece the builder's skill was known,
Or the light chisel brushed the Parian stone;
Yet here fair Science nursed her infant fire,
Fanned by the artist aid of friendly Tyre.
Then towered the palace, then in awful state
The temple reared its everlasting gate.
No workman steel, no pond'rous axes rung ;
Like some tall palm the noiseless fabric sprung.
Majestic silence !-then the harp awoke,
The cymbal clanged, the deep-voiced trumpet
spoke, And Salem spread her suppliant arms abroad, Viewed the descending flame, and blessed the
present God, Nor shrunk she then, when, raging deep and
loud, Beat o'er her soul the billows of the proud. E’en they who, dragged to Shinar's fiery sand; Tilled with reluctant strength the stranger's
Who sadly told the slow-revolving years,
And steeped the captive's bitter bread with tears:
Yet oft their hearts with kindling hopes would
burn, Their destined triumphs, and their glad return, And their sad lyres, which, silent and unstrung,