Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
Syria: Bethlehem
Charles D. Bell (1818–1898)
TWO sad-faced women, haggard, worn, and wan,
Passed wearily through Bethlehem’s sun-scorched street;
The city, moved to pity, round them ran,
And some with wondering cry the strangers greet,
“What! Is this Naomi?” She quickly broke        5
Upon them trembling, as they thus began,—
“Call me not Naomi,” she weeping spoke,
“For Naomi is numbered with the dead;
My name is Mara, for, O friends, with me
The Lord hath dealt exceeding bitterly!        10
“The hand of God has touched me, and I mourn;
Has robbed me both of husband and of son;
Woe worth the bitter day that I was born!
My prop, my stay, my life of life, is gone;
I went out full, empty come back to you,        15
A widow, childless, desolate, and forlorn;
The graves in Moab hold my dead heart too,
I left it with them where they sleep in peace.
So from my years has gone the sun, the light;
I grope as one through some dark dreary night.”        20

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