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Lines On Reading “Lamartine’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land”

By Mrs. R. Hyneman

Jerusalem! Jerusalem! a stranger’s hand may trace
Each hallowed relic of the past, and unforgotten place,
A careless, heedless footstep press thy consecrated sod,
And an alien’s lip breathe orisons unto an alien’s God.

Shorn of the glittering honours that once begirt thy brow,
All desolate and lonely as the sad heart sees thee now,
With scarce a vestige of the past to cheer the exile’s heart,
Thy mournful history pleads for thee, all ruined as thou art.

Yes, treasured city of the soul, which stranger hands despoil,
Myriads of yearning bosoms pant to greet thy sacred soil;
And dear unto thy sorrowing sons, long stricken and oppres't,
Were the humblest weed thou bringest forth from thy cold, pulseless breast.

We recall thee in thy beauty, in thy plentitude of power,
In all thy ancient majesty, with kingdoms for a dower;
With the diadem of nations encircled on thy brow,
And we turn in bitterness of soul to all thou seemest now.

We mourn for thee, Jerusalem! thou of the widowed heart,
Thou who hast seen thy glorious hopes like a vain dream depart;
Even as a wife forsaken, hast thou drained the cup of shame,*
And the stranger passing by thy gate hath mocked to hear thy name.

Yea, they taunt thee in thy suffering, forsaken and forlorn,
They point unto the galling yoke for ages thou hast worn;
And they tell thee, weary laden one, in thy lone misery,
That no redeemer will arise to set the captive free.†

Awake! awake! put forth thy strength, oh Zion! as of yore,
Gird on thy glorious majesty, and wake to life once more.
Arouse, arouse, ye sluggish sons! oh prove before your God
That ye are worthy to pursue the path your fathers trod.

And He, who led your sires forth from dark captivity,
Will return once more in holiness to set his chosen free.
Then Jerusalem! Jerusalem! no stranger shall deface
Thy sacred relics of the past in thy time-hallowed place.

* “For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth when thou wast refused, saith thy God.”—Isaiah.

† “No Cyrus comes to set thee free
    From ages of captivity.”—Montgomery.