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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!

Well 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 grow dim, 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!

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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:

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 grey-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 spell — The very flowers around recall

The hoary magi's rites of hell!

"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 smiled —

How thrilled his sinking heart to greet
The Star-flower of the Virgin's child!

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