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Defend the birthright of the cedar shade.
What though no more for you the obedient gale
Swells the white bosom of the Tyrian sail;
Though now no more your glittering marts unfold
Sidonian dyes and Lusitanian gold;
Though not for you the pale and sickly slave
Forgets the light in Ophir's wealthy cave;
Yet yours the lot, in proud contentment blest,
Where cheerful labor leads to tranquil rest.
No robber rage the ripening harvest knows;
And unrestrained the generous vintage flows:
Nor less your sons to manliest deeds aspire,
And Asia's mountains glow with Spartan fire.
So when, deep sinking in the rosy main,
The western sun forsakes the Syrian plain,
His watery rays refracted lustre shed,
And pour their latest light on Carmel's head.
Yet shines your praise,amid surrounding gloom,
As the lone lamp that trembles in the tomb:
For few the souls that spurn a tyrant's chain,
And small the bounds of freedom's scanty reign.
As the poor outcast on the cheerless wild,
Arabia's parent, clasped her fainting child,
And wandered near the roof no more her home,
Forbid to linger, yet afraid to roam:
My sorrowing fancy quits the happier height,
And southward throws her half-averted sight.
For sad the scenes Judaea's plains disclose,
A dreary waste of undistinguished woes.
See War untired his crimson pinions spread,
And foul Revenge, that tramples on the dead.
Lo, where from far the guarded fountains shine,
Thy tents, Nebaioth, rise, and Kedar, thine:
'Tis yours the boast to mark the stranger's way,
And spur your headlong chargers on the prey,
Or rouse your nightly numbers from afar,
And on the hamlet pour the waste of war;
Nor spare the hoary head, nor bid your eye
Revere the sacred smile of infancy.
Such now the clans, whose fiery coursers feed
Where waves on Kishon's bank the whispering
And theirs the soil, where, curling to the skies,
Smokes on Samaria's mount her scanty sacrifice.
While Israel's sons, by scorpion curses driven,
Outcasts of earth, and reprobate of heaven,
Through the wide world in friendless exile stray,
Remorse and shame sole comrades of their way,
With dumb despair their country's wrongs behold,
And, dead to glory, only burn for gold.
O Thou, their Guide, their Father, and their
Loved for thy mercies, for thy power adored:
If at thy name the waves forgot their force,
And refluent Jordan sought his trembling source;If at thy name like sheep the mountains fled,
And haughty Sirion bowed his marble head;To Israel's woes a pitying ear incline,
And raise from earth thy long-neglected vine.
Her rifled fruits behold the heathen bear,
And wild-wood boars her mangled clusters tear.
Was it for this she stretched her peopled reign
From far Euphrates to the western main?For this, o'er many a hill her boughs she threw,
And her wide arms like goodly cedars grew?For this, proud Edom slept beneath her shade,
And o'er the Arabian deep her branches played?
O feeble boast of transitory power,
Vain, fruitless trust of Judah's happier hour;
Not such their hope, when through the parted
main The cloudy wonder led the warrior train: Not such their hope, when through the fields of
night The torch of heaven diffused its friendly light: Not, when fierce Conquest urged the onward war And hurled stern Canaan from his iron car: Nor, when five monarchs led to Gibeon's fight, In rude array, the harnessed Amorite: Yes—in that hour, by mortal accents stayed, The lingering sun his fiery wheels delayed;
The moon, obedient, trembled at the sound,
Curbed her pale car, and checked her mazy
Let Sinai tell—for she beheld his might,
And God's own darkness veiled her mystic
(He, cherub-borne, upon the whirlwind rode,
And the red mountain like a furnace glowed:)
Let Sinai tell—but who shall dare recite
His praise, his power,—eternal, infinite?—
Awe-struck I cease; nor bid my strains aspire,
Or serve his altar with unhallowed fire.
Such were the cares that watched o'er Israel's fate, And such the glories of their infant state. —Triumphant race; and did your power decay .' Failed the bright promise of your early day? No :—by that sword, which, red with heathen
gore, A giant spoil, the stripling champion bore; By him, the chief to farthest India known, The mighty master of the iv'ry throne; In heaven's own strength, high towering o'er her foes, Victorious Salem's lion banner rose, Before her footstool prostrate nations lay, And vassal tyrants crouched beneath her sway.
—And he, the kingly sage, whose restless mind
Through nature's mazes wandered unconfiued;
Who every bird, and beast, and insect knew,
And spake of every plant that quaffs the dew;
To him were known—so Hagar's offspring tell—
The powerful sigil and the starry spell,
The midnight call, hell's shadowy legions dread>
And sounds that burst the slumbers of the dead.
Hence all his might; for who could these op-
pose?And Tadmor thus, and Syrian Balbec rose.
Yet e'en the works of toiling Genii fall,
And vain was Estakhar's enchanted wall.
In frantic converse with the mournful wind,
There oft the houseless Santon rests reclined;Strange shapes he views, and drinks with won-
The voices of the dead,and songs of other year*.
Such, the faint echo of departed praise,
Still sound Arabia's legendary lays;And thus (heir fabling bards delight to tell
How lovely were thy tents, O Israel. For thee his ivory load behemoth bore,
And far Sofala teemed with golden ore;Thine all the arts that wait on wealth's increase,
Or bask and wanton in the beam of peace.
When Tyber slept beneath the cypress gloom,