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: Jerusalem
Bayard Taylor (1825–1878)
FAIR shines the moon, Jerusalem,
  Upon the hills that wore
Thy glory once, their diadem
  Ere Judah’s reign was o’er:
The stars on hallowed Olivet        5
  And over Zion burn,
But when shall rise thy splendor set?
  Thy majesty return?
The peaceful shades that wrap thee now
  Thy desolation hide;        10
The moonlit beauty of thy brow
  Restores thine ancient pride;
Yet there, where Rome thy Temple rent,
  The dews of midnight wet
The marble dome of Omar’s tent,        15
  And Aksa’s minaret.
Thy strength, Jerusalem, is o’er,
  And broken are thy walls;
The harp of Israel sounds no more
  In thy deserted halls:        20
But where thy Kings and Prophets trod,
  Triumphant over Death,
Behold the living Son of God,—
  The Christ of Nazareth!
The halo of his presence fills        25
  Thy courts, thy ways of men;
His footsteps on thy holy hills
  Are beautiful as then;
The prayer, whose bloody sweat betrayed
  His human agony,        30
Still haunts the awful olive shade
  Of old Gethsemane.
Woe unto thee, Jerusalem!
  Slayer of Prophets, thou,
That in thy fury stonest them        35
  God sent, and sends thee now:—
Where thou, O Christ! with anguish spent,
  Forgav’st thy foes, and died,
Thy garments yet are daily rent,—
  Thy soul is crucified!        40
They darken with the Christian name
  The light that from thee beamed,
And by the hatred they proclaim
  Thy spirit is blasphemed;
Unto thine ear the prayers they send        45
  Were fit for Belial’s reign,
And Moslem cimeters defend
  The temple they profane.
Who shall rebuild Jerusalem?
  Her scattered children bring        50
From Earth’s far ends, and gather them
  Beneath her sheltering wing?
For Judah’s sceptre broken lies,
  And from his kingly stem
No new Messiah shall arise        55
  For lost Jerusalem!
But let the wild ass on her hills
  Its foal unfrighted lead,
And by the source of Kedron’s rills
  The desert adder breed:        60
For where the love of Christ has made
  Its mansion in the heart,
He builds in pomp that will not fade
  Her heavenly counterpart.
*        *        *        *        *

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.