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And here's a sight and sound to me more welcome
Behold them here!
Thus we move, our sad steps timing
To our cymbals' feeblest chiming,
The branches of thy fruitful vine,
O'er all the hills of Palestine.
Or walls of sea-green marble piled
On exulting Egypt came,
And her ears on wheels of fame,
Its meridian radiance then
Then did Israel's maidens sing,
Then did Israel's timbrels ring,
And our timbrels' Aashing chords,
Lo! against thy people come
Craze the chariot wheels of Rome?
Thy stern anger overthrow?
From sadder than Egyptian woe,
Streets of Jerusalem-Evening.
MIRIAM Ah me! ungentle Eve, how long thou lingerest! Oh! when it was a grief to me to lose
Yon azure mountains, and the lovely vales
SIMON, MIRIAM, SALONE.
SIMON With what an envious and a hurrying swiftness Now may your native towers rush o'er your heads Didst thou descend, and pour thy mantling dews With horrible downfall, may the treacherous stones And dew-like silence o'er the face of things; Start underneath your footing, cast you down, Shrouding each spot I loved the most with suddenest | For the iron wheels of vengeance to rush o'er youAnd deepest darkness; making mule the groves Flight! flight! still flight!-Oh, infidel renegades ! Where the birds nestled under the still leaves! But now, how slowly, heavily thou fallest!
The above, John, AMARIAH, HIGH-PRIEST, etc. Now, when thou mightest hush the angry din Of battle, and conceal the murtherous foes
Now, by the living God of Israel, John! From mutual slaughter, and pour oil and wine Your silken slaves, your golden-sandal'd men,Into the aching hurts of wounded men!
Your men! I should have said, your girls of Gali But is it therefore only that I chide thee
lee!-With querulous impatience? will the night
They will not soil their dainty hands with blood. Once more, the secret, counsel-keeping night, Thoir myrrh-dew'd locks are all too smoothly curl'd Veil the dark path which leads to Siloe's fountain ? To let the riotous and dishevelling airs Which leads-why should I blush to add-to Javan? Of battle violate their crisped neatness. Oh thou, my teacher! I forgot thee not
Oh! their nice mincing steps are all unfit This morning in the Temple--I forgot not
To tread the red and slippery paths of war; The name thou taught'st me to adore, nor thee- Yet they can trip it lightly when they turn
But what have I to do with thoughts like these, To fly — While all around the stunning battle roars
JOHN Like a gorged lion o'er his mangled prey ?
Thou lying and injurious Pharisee! Alas! alas! but the human appetite
For every man of thine that in the trenches For shedding blood that is insatiate !
Hardly hath consented to lay down his life, -Time was, that if I heard a sound of arms, Twice len of mine have leap'd from off the walls, My heart would shudder, and my limbs would fail.
Grappling a Gentile by the shivering helm, When, to have seen a dying man had been
And proudly died upon his dying foe. A dark event, that with its fearful memory
But tell thou me, thou only faithful Simon! Had haunted many a sad and sleepless night. Where are the men of Edom, whom we saw But now-now
Stretching their amicable hands in parley,
And quietly mingling with the unharming foe? SALONE, MIRIAM.
Where are they? where the traitors meet, where all Sister! my Salone! Sister!
The foes of Simon and Jerusalem, Why art thou flying with that frantic mien,
In th' everlasting fire! I slew them, John, Thy veil cast back and streaming with thine hair? Thou saw'st my red hand glorious with their blood. Oh, harbinger of misery! I read
JOHN. A sad disastrous story in thy face;
False traitors! in their very treachery false ! 'T is o'er, and God hath given the city of David
They would betray without their lord-In truth, Unto the stranger.
Treason, like empire, brooks not rivalry.
Now, by the bones of Abraham our father,
I do accuse thee here, false John of Galilee! Though the fierce engines with their brazen heads
Or, if the title please thee, John the Tyrant!
Here, in our arm'd, embattled Sanhedrim,
From thee, as from a foul and poisonous fount,
Pour the black waters of calamity
O'er Judah's land! God hates thee, man of Belial! All is not lost! for Amariah stands
And the destroying bolts that fall on thee Amid the rushing sheets of molten fire,
From the insulted heavens, blast all around thee Even like an Angel in the flaming centre
With spacious and unsparing desolation, of the sun's noontide orb
Hear me, ye men of Israel! do ye wonder
From the fierce Gentile onset ? that your walls Back-back-I say, by—
Are prostrate, and your last hath scarce repellid MIRIAM.
But now the flush'd invader? 'Tis from this
"Tis my father's voice! That the Holy City will not be defended It sounds in wrath, perhaps in blasphemy;
By womanish men, and loose adulterers. Yet 't is my living father's voice-He's here. Hear me, I say, this son of Gischala,
THE FALL OF JERUSALEM.
This lustful tyrant, hath he not defiled
That grossly do defraud the eternal soul Your daughters, in the open face of day
Of its immortal heritage, and doom it Done deeds of shame, which midnight hath no dark. To rot for ever with its kindred clay
In the grave's deep unbroken prison-house? So deep as to conceal? It is his pride
Yea, they dispeople with their infidel creed T'offend high heaven with crimes before unknown- Heaven of its holy Angels; laugh to scorn Hath he not mock'd the austere and solemn fasts, That secret band of ministering Spirils; And sabbaths of our Law, by revellings
That therefore, in their indignation, stand And most heaven-tainting wantonness? Yea, more, Aloof, and gaze upon our gathering ruin Hath he not made God's festivals a false
With a contemptuous and pitiless scorn.
They that were wont to range around our towers
Confront the peril as the man that feels
The cup of Life hath sparkled to our lips, Reek with the indelible and thrice-foulest stain And we have drain'd its tide of love and joy, Of human carnage. Yea, with impious steel Till our veins almost burst with o'erwrought rapture; He slew the brethren that were kneeling with him And well we know, that generous cup, once dash'd, At the same altar, uttering the same prayers.
Shall never mantle more to the cold lips (Speak, Eleazar, was 't not so ?-thou darest not Of the earth-bound dead. And therefore do we fight Affirm, nor canst deny thine own betrayal.)
For life as for a mistress, that being lost,
Is lost for ever. To be what we are
With Solitude, her sister; and we fix
Our steadfast footing on the perilous verge,
That seeks to plunge us down; and where's the
We look not, Simon, to the sky, nor pray
We have our own good arms, that God hath given us,
Oh heavens! oh heavens, ye hear it, and endure it!
Outwearied by the all-frequent blasphemy
To an indignant patience: and the just
Still, still must suffer the enforced alliance
of men whose fellowship is death and ruin.
Why, thou acknowledged Prince of Murderers!
Captain Assassin! Lord and Chief of Massacre !
That pourest blood like water, yet dost deem
That thou canst wash the foul and scarlet stain
From thy polluted soul, as easily
And prayers that weary even the stonesthou kneel'ston,
The God whose image hourly thou effacest
With mangling and remorseless steel! "Tis well Tha Law of Moses and disdain the Prophets ? That graves are silent, and that dead men's souls 3C
Assert not the proud privilege thou wouldst give them; “ Lord of Mercies, be it done,
To which the Roman, and the wasting famine, Your wisdom must detect, your justice wreak | Were soft and healing mercies.
Fit punishment upon the accursed sacrilege.
Miriam! Miriam! Ha!-She's fled.-Guilt! Guilt There is no rich libation to the All-Just
Prophetic of the damning accusation So welcome as the blood of renegades
It doth deserve! Apostate! 't were a sin
Against Jerusalera and Heaven to spare thee!
[Departs unperceived. Now, if it were my child, my Sarah's child,
The child that she died blessing, I'd not sleep What, John of Galilee! because my voice
Till the stones crush her. Yea, thus, thus I'd grasp. Is hoarse with speaking of thy crimes, dost scoff, And hurl destruction on her guilty head. And wag thy head at me, and answer laughter? Here, John, I pledge mine hand to thee, till vengeance Now, if thy veins run noi pure gall, I'll broach Seize on the false and insolent blasphemer. Their tide, and prove if all my creed be false; (SALONE, half unveiled, rushing forward, stops irreIf traitors' reeking blood smell not to heaven
solutely.) Like a sweet sacrifice.
Their eyes oppress me—my heart chokes my voice !
And my lips cling together-Oh! my mother,
Upon thy death-bed didst thou not beseech us
Veiled maid, what art thou !
OfT! off! the blood of Abraham swells within meTo cast myself between
As I cast down my veil, I cast away
It is too good a death for one so guilty And vindicate offence more rank and monstrous,
To perish for JerusalemAvenge your God! and then avenge yourselves !
[She stands unveiled.
SIMON. The Temple is polluted—Israel's Lord
Salone! Mock'd in his presence. Prayers even thence have
HIGH-PRIEST. risen, Prayers from the jealous holy Sanctuary,
The admired daughter of the noble Simon ! Even to the Crucified Man our fathers slew.
VOICE AT A DISTANCE.
Who is this, that speaks
With such a thrilling accent of command ?
Israel! Israel !
JEWS That, like th’Egyptian and his car-borne host,
Back! give place! the Prophet! The billows of Heaven's wrath might overwhelm
ABIRAM (the false prophet.) The Gentile foe, and so preserve Jerusalem;
Israel! Israel !
Ay! peace, I say!
The wounds are bound; the blood is stanch'd! and I look J upon the veiled damsels, all
To kindred concord! and the clashing swords
To revel and the jocund nuptial feast.
of Israel's chiefs, portends some glorious fruit What means Abiram?
To ripen in the deep futurity.
Simon, what meanest thou ?
The Hope of Israel!
In Judah's hour of peril, and conceived In the strong bonds of unity and peace.
In her extreme of agony, what birth
So meet and fitting for the great Discomfiter? And where is now the wine for the bridegroom's rosy cup?(16)
A light falls on me. And the tabret and the harp for the chamber of the bride?
Prophet! what shall dye Lo! bright as burnish'd gold the lamps are sparkling up. The robe of purple with so bright a grain And the odours of the incense are breathing far and As Roman blood ? Before our gates are met wide;
The lords of empire, and our walls may laugh And the maidens' feet are glancing in the virgins' Their siege to scorn, even till the Branch be grown wedding train;
That's not yet planted— Yea, the wrested sceptre And the sad streets of Salem are alive with joy again! Of earth, the sole dominion—Back, Abiram,
To thy prophetic cave-kneel, pray, fast, weep;
And thou shalt bless us with far nobler tidings, Long live Salone! Long live Amariah!
And we will kiss thy feet, thou Harbinger
Of Judah's gloryAm I awake ?-how came I hero unveil'd
Now lead on the Bridal. Among the bold and glaring eyes of men ?
Blow trumpets! shout, exulting Israel!
Shout Amariah! shout again Salone! Long live Salone! Long live Amariah!
Shout louder yet, the Bridegroom and the Bride!
Rejoice, O Zion, now on all thy hills;
Fountain of Siloe-Night-An approaching Storm.
MIRIAM. What says my boy?
He is not here! and yet he might have known
That the cold gloom of the tempestuous skies
Could never change a faithful heart like mine.
That wrapt me round in charitable darkness,
What's there? I see A cup of wine in all the wasted city,
A white and spirit-like gleaming-It must be !
I see her not, yet feel that it is Miriam,
By the indistinct and dimly visible grace
Prophet Abiram, That haunts her motions; by her tread, that falls I have a question for thy secret ear.
Trembling and soft like moonlight on the earth. Thou man, whose eyes are purged from earthly film, What dost thou here? now—now? where every mo. Seest thou no further down the tide of time ?
ment Beyond this bridal nothing ?-Answer me !
The soldiers prowl, and meeting sentinels For it should seem this designated union
Challenge each other? I have watch'd for thee Of two so noble, this conspiring blood
As prisoners for the hour of their deliverance;