Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CITY OF LAISH, by RICHARD EUGENE BURTON

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THE CITY OF LAISH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Have you read of the orient people of / laish in the olden time
Last Line: Christ came and his presence declared it, so the dream may not utterly die.
Subject(s): Asia; Cities; Death; Dreams; Jesus Christ; War; Far East; East Asia; Orient; Urban Life; Dead, The; Nightmares

HAVE you read of the Orient people of Laish in the olden time,
In the days when to battle was good and to kill was held no crime?
How they dwelt at quiet, and had no business nor bicker with man,
Until they were smote by the sword in the grip of the chieftains of Dan?

The people of Dan came down and smote with the edge of the sword
And builded a city therein, being led thereto of the Lord;
And the name of the city was changed from Laish, as they called it of yore,
To Dan of the Danites, who came and conquered her people in war.

Since so it is written, we honor the host that the victors became,
And righteously vanquished the foemen and wreathed their towers in flame;
Like a fiat of flame they descended, for so they were guided of God,
And so was the future unfolded by sweeps of His terrible rod.

And yet in my heart there must harbor a feeling of pity and pain
Because of the people so peaceful, who never might mingle again
In streets of their love and their childhood, in Laish, their home-city, that
As far from the worries of worldlings, as night time is far from the day.

Will some day that is hope of the dreamer, some place never chanted in song,
Show peace in its borders unbroken, where men are both gentle and strong?
Shall the lamb then be couched with the lion? Men ask it and look to the sky;
Christ came and his presence declared it, so the dream may not utterly die.

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