Nicholas Michell


(From Ruins of Many Lands)


HAIL to the hills where Desolation weeps,

Yet holy watch untiring Memory keeps!

Hail to the vales where Plenty laughs no more,

Or mantling vines display their purple store,

But every rock with history’s wreath is crowned,

And every barren glen is hallowed ground!

Hail to the streams that flow not now along

Blessed by the saint, or charmed by holy song,

Yet seem the haunt of angels, that still glide

By tree and cave, and skim the silent tide!

Hail to the spot Heaven favored, land divine,

Revered, long-suffering, beauteous Palestine!


  Ah! who so cold can gaze, and wander here,

Nor feel his bosom thrill, nor shed a tear?

Thrill, when he thinks of glorious times of yore,

And weep to know that glory ever o’er.

The ground he treads a thousand saints have trod,

Prophets, far-visioned bards, and seers of God.

The ruined tower, the once-green olived hill,

The stony waste, the half-choked fount and rill,

Each tells its tale that prompts a hope or sigh,

Linked with celestial memories ne’er to die.

The harp of Judah sounds o’er Sharon’s vale,

Though there no more the roses scent the gale:

Despite the Roman’s plough, and Moslem’s shrine,

Fancy beholds the Temple’s splendors shine;

High stands on Olivet that sacred form,

Bright in our world as rainbow in a storm;

By Kedron’s tomb-lined brook he wanders slow,

Teaches his followers mid those caves below,

Sheds tears loved Salem’s bitter fate to tell,

Or leans and talks by blessed Samaria’s well:

Yes, those far ages flash a heavenly ray,

That hallows every scene we here survey.

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