Page images

The last groan of horror rose wildly and vain, And death brooded over the pride of the Plain !




Judea's hills !
And on the waves of Galilee-
On Jordan's stream, and on the rills

That feed the dead and sleeping sea!
Most freshly from the green wood springs
The light breeze on its scented wings ;
And gayly quiver in the sun
The cedar tops of Lebanon !

A few more hours—a change hath come!

The sky is dark without a cloud !
The shouts of wrath and joy are dumb,

And proud knees unto earth are bowed.
A change is on the hill of Death,
The helmed watchers pant for breath,
And turn with wild and maniac eyes
From the dark scene of sacrifice !

That Sacrifice !-the death of Him

The High and ever Holy One !
Well may the conscious Heaven grow dim,

And blacken the beholding Sun
The wonted light hath fled away,
Night settles on the iniddle day,
And earthquake from his caverned bed
Is waking with a thrill of dread!

The dead are waking underneath!

Their prison door is rent away!
And, ghastly with the seal of death,

They wander in the eye of day!

The temple of the Cherubim,
The House of God is cold and dim;
A curse is on its trembling walls,
Its mighty veil asunder falls !

grow dim,


may the cavern-depths of Earth
Be shaken, and her mountains nod;
Well may the sheeted dead come forth

To gaze upon a suffering God!
Well may the temple-shrine
And shadows veil the Cherubim,
When He, the chosen one of Heaven,
A sacrifice for guilt is given !
And shall the sinful heart, alone,

Behold unmoved the atoning hour,
When Nature trembles on her throne,

And Death resigns his iron power ?
Oh, shall the heart—whose sinfulness
Gave keenness to his sore distress,
And added to his tears of blood-
Refuse its trembling gratitude !


WHERE Time the measure of his hours

By changeful bud and blossom keeps, And like a young bride crowned with flowers,

Fair Shiraz in her garden sleeps; Where, to her poet's turban stone,

The Spring her gift of flowers imparts, Less sweet than those his thoughts have sown

In the warm soil of Persian hearts:

[blocks in formation]

There sat the stranger, where the shade

Of scattered date-trees thinly lay, While in the hot clear heaven delayed

The long, and still, and weary day. Strange trees and fruits above him hung,

Strange odors filled the sultry air, Strange birds upon the branches swung,

Strange insect voices murmured there.

And strange bright blossoms shone around,

Turned sunward from the shadowy bowers, As if the Gheber's soul had found

A fitting home in Iran's flowers.

Whate'er he saw, whate'er he heard,

Awakened feelings new and sad,No Christian garb, nor Christian word,

Nor church with Sabbath bell chimes glad,

But Moslem graves, with turban stones,

And mosque-spires gleaming white, in view, And gray-beard Mollahs in low tones

Chanting their Koran service through.

The flowers which smiled on either hand

Like tempting fiends, were such as they Which once, o'er all that Eastern land,

As gifts on demon altars lay.

As if the burning eye of Baal

The servant of his Conqueror knew, From skies which knew no cloudy veil,

The Sun's hot glances smote him through. " Ah me!” the lonely stranger said,

“ The hope which led my footsteps on, And light from Heaven around them shed,

O’er weary wave and waste, is gone!

# Where are the harvest fields all white,

For Truth to thrust her sickle in ? Where flock the souls, like doves in flight,

From the dark hiding-place of sin ?

“A silent horror broods o'er all

The burden of a hateful spellThe very flowers around recall

The hoary magi's rites of kell!

" And what am I, o'er such a land

The banner of the Cross to bear ? Dear Lord, uphold me with thy hand,

Thy strength with human weakness share »

He ceased; for at his very feet

In mild rebuke a floweret smiledHow thrilled his sinking heart to greet

The Star-flower of the Virgin's child !

Sown by some wandering Frank, it drew

Its life from alien air and earth, And told to Paynim sun and dew

The story of the Saviour's birth. From scorching beams, in kindly mood,

The Persian plants its beauty screened • And on its


sisterhood, In love, the Christian floweret leaned.

With tears of joy tne wanderer felt

The darkness of his long despair Before that hallowed symbol melt,

Which God's dear love had nurtured there.

From Nature's face, that simple flower

The lines of sin and sadness swept;
And Magian pile and Paynim bower

like that of Eden slept.

Each Moslem tomb, and cypress old,

Looked holy through the sunset air; And angel-like, the Muezzin told

From tower and mosque the hour of prayer. With cheerful steps, the morrow's dawn

From Shiraz saw the stranger part; The Star-flower of the Virgin-Born

Still blooming in his hopeful heart !



ONE hymn more, O my lyre !

Praise to the God above,

Of joy and life and love,

Sweeping its strings of fire !
Dh! who the speed of bird and wind

And sunbeam's glance will lend to me,
That, soaring upward, I may find

My resting-place and home in Thee ?Thou, whom my soul, midst doubt and gloom,

Adoreth with a fervent flameMysterious spirit! unto whom

Pertain nor sign nor name !

Swiftly my lyre's soft murmurs go,

Up from the cold and joyless earth, Back to the God who bade them flow,

Whose moving spirit sent them forth. But as for me, O God! for me,

The lowly creature of thy will, Lingering and sad, I sigh to Thee,

An earth-bound pilgrim still !

« PreviousContinue »