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RECITED IN THE THEATRE, OXFORD,
REFT of thy sons, amid thy foes forlorn,
Mourn, widowed queen, forgotten Sion, mourn.
Is this thy place, sad city, this thy throne,
Where the wild desert rears its craggy stone ?
While suns unblest their angry lustre fling,
And way-worn pilgrims seek the scanty spring ?
Where now thy pomp, which kings with envy
view'd ? Where now thy might, which all those kings sub
dued ? No martial myriads muster in thy gate; No suppliant nations in thy Temple wait; No prophet bards, thy glittering courts among, Wake the full lyre, and swell the tide of song : But lawless Force, and meagre Want is there, And the quick-darting eye of restless Fear; While cold Oblivion, ’mid thy ruins laid,
Folds his dank wing beneath the ivy shade.
Ye guardian saints, ye warrior sons of lieaven,
To whose high care Judæa's state was given,
O wont of old your nightly watch to keep,
A host of gods, on Sion's towery steep-
If e'er your secret footsteps linger still
By Siloa's fount, or Tabor's echoing hill;
If c'er your song on Salem's glories dwell,
And mourn the captive land you loved so well;
(For oft, 't is said, in Kedron's palmy vale
Mysterious harpings swell the midnight gale,
And, blest as balmy dews that Hermon cheer,
Melt in soft cadence on the pilgrim's ear;)
Forgive, blest spirits, if a theme so high
Mock the weak notes of mortal minstrelsy;
Yet, might your aid this anxious breast inspire
With one faint spark of Milton's seraph fire,
Then should my Muse ascend with bolder flight,
And wave her eagle-plumes exulting in the light.
O happy once in heaven's peculiar love,
Delight of men below, and saints above;
Though, Salem, now the spoiler's ruffian hand
Has loosed his hell-hounds o'er thy wasted land;
Though weak, and whelmed beneath the storms
Thy house is left unto thee desolate;
Though thy proud stones in cumbrous ruin fall,
And seas of sand o’ertop thy mouldering wall;
Yet shall the Muse to Fancy's ardent view
Each shadowy trace of faded pomp renew :
And as the seer on Pisgah's topmost brow
With glistening eye beheld the plain below,
With prescient ardor drank the scented gale,
And bade the opening glades of Canaan hail ;
Her eagle eye shall scan the prospect wide,
From Carmel's cliffs to Almotana's tide;
The flinty waste, the cedar-tufted hill,
The liquid health of smooth Ardeni's rill;
The grot, where, by the watch-fire's evening
The robber riots, or the hermit prays;
Or, where the tempest rives the hoary stone,
The wintry top of giant Lebanon.
Fierce, hardly, proud, in conscious freedom bold,
Those stormy seats the warrior Druses hold;
From Norman blood their lofty line they trace,
Their lion courage proves their generous race.
They, only they, while all around them knzel
In sullen homage to the Thracian steel,
Teach their pale despot's waning moon to fear
The patriot terrors of the mountain spear.
Yes, valorous chiefs, while yet your sabres shine, The native guard of feeble Palestine, 0, ever thus, by no vain boast dismayed,