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LAMENTATION OVER JERUSALEM, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: There have been tears from holier eyes
Last Line: On the rebellious race that crucified their lord!
Subject(s): Jerusalem


THERE have been tears from holier eyes than mine
Pour'd o'er thee, Zion! yea, the Son of Man
This thy devoted hour foresaw and wept.
And I -- can I refrain from weeping? Yes,
My country, in thy darker destiny
Will I awhile forget mine own distress.

I feel it now, the sad, the coming hour;
The signs are full, and never shall the sun
Shine on the cedar roofs of Salem more;
Her tale of splendour now is told and done:
Her wine-cup of festivity is spilt,
And all is o'er, her grandeur and her guilt.

O! fair and favour'd city, where of old
The balmy airs were rich with melody,
That led her pomp beneath the cloudless sky
In vestments flaming with the orient gold;
Her gold is dim, and mute her music's voice;
The heathen o'er her perish'd pomp rejoice.

How stately then was every palm-deck'd street,
Down which the maidens danced with tinkling feet!
How proud the elders in the lofty gate!
How crowded all her nation's solemn feasts
With white-robed Levites and high-mitred priests!
How gorgeous all her temple's sacred state,
Her streets are razed, her maidens sold for slaves,
Her gates thrown down, her elders in their graves;
Her feasts are holden mid the gentile's scorn,
By stealth her priesthood's holy garments worn;
And where her temple crown'd the glittering rock,
The wandering shepherd folds his evening flock.

When shall the work, the work of death begin?
When come the avengers of proud Judah's sin?
Aceldama! accursed and guilty ground,
Gird all the city in thy dismal bound;
Her price is paid, and she is sold like thou;
Let every ancient monument and tomb
Enlarge the border of its vaulted gloom,
Their spacious chambers all are wanted now.

But never more shall yon lost city need
Those secret places for her future dead;
Of all her children, when this night is pass'd,
Devoted Salem's darkest, and her last,
Of all her children none is left to her,
Save those whose house is in the sepulchre.

Yet, guilty city, who shall mourn for thee?
Shall Christian voices wail thy devastation?
Look down! look down, avenged Calvary,
Upon thy late yet dreadful expiation.
O! long foretold, though slow accomplish'd fate,
"Her house is left unto her desolate;"
Proud Caesar's ploughshare, o'er her ruins driven
Fulfils at length the tardy doom of Heaven,
The wrathful vial's drops at length are pour'd
On the rebellious race that crucified their Lord!





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