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I bowed my face, in awe and fear,
THE CITIES OF THE PLAIN.
“ Get ye up from the wrath of God's terrible day! Ungirded, unsandalled, arise and away! 'Tis the vintage of blood — 't is the fullness of time, And vengeance shall gather the harvest of crime !
The warning was spoken — the righteous had gone,
’T was an evening of beauty ; the air was perfume,
And beautiful maidens moved down in the dance,
Where the shrines of foul idols were lighted on high,
Hark! the growl of the thunder - the quaking of earth!
Then the shriek of the dying rose wild where the song
Down— down, on the fallen, the red ruin rained,
The last throb of anguish was fearfully given ;
SUN-LIGHT upon Judea's hills !
And on the waves of Galilee —
That feed the dead and sleeping sea !
A few more hours — a change hath come!
The sky is dark without a cloud !
And proud knees unto earth are bowed.
That Sacrifice !- the death of Him -
The High and ever Holy One!
And blacken the beholding Sun !
The dead are waking underneath !
O???,,,,,,,ri/?? ?? And, ghastly with the seal of death,
They wander in the eye of day!
The temple of the Cherubim,
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 !
THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.
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,