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HEROD'S LAMENT FOR MARIAMNE.
OH, Mariamne! now for thee
The heart for which thou bled'st is bleeding;
Revenge is lost in agony
And wild remorse to rage succeeding.
Oh, Mariamne! where art thou?
Thou canst not hear my bitter pleading:
Ah! could'st thou-thou would'st pardon now,
Though Heaven were to my prayer unheeding.
And is she dead?-and did they dare
Obey my frenzy's jealous raving?
My wrath but doom'd my own despair:
The sword that smote her 's o'er me waving.
But thou art cold, my murder'd love!
And this dark heart is vainly craving
For her who soars alone above,
And leaves my soul unworthy saving.
She's gone, who shared my diadem;
She sunk, with her my joys entombing;
I swept that flower from Judah's stem,
Whose leaves for me alone were blooming;
And mine's the guilt, and mine the hell,
This bosom's desolation dooming;
And I have earn'd those tortures well,
Which unconsumed are still consuming!
6 [Mariamne, the wife of Herod the Great, falling under the suspicion of infidelity, was put to death by his order. Ever after, Herod was haunted by the image of the murdered Mariamne, until disorder of the mind brought on disorder of body, which led to temporary derangement.-MILMAN.-When Lord Byron was in the midst of the altercations with his own wife, he asked Mr. Nathan to sing him this melody, and listened to it with an air of romantic regret.]
ON THE DAY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM
FROM the last hill that looks on thy once holy dome,
I beheld thee, oh Sion! when render'd to Rome:
'Twas thy last sun went down, and the flames of thy fall
Flash'd back on the last glance I gave to thy wall.
I look'd for thy temple, I look'd for my home,
And forgot for a moment my bondage to come;
I beheld but the death-fire that fed on thy fane,
And the fast-fetter'd hands that made vengeance in vain.
On many an eve, the high spot whence I gazed
Had reflected the last beam of day as it blazed;
While I stood on the height, and beheld the decline
Of the rays from the mountain that shone on thy shrine.
And now on that mountain I stood on that day,
But I mark'd not the twilight beam melting away;
Oh! would that the lightning had glared in its stead,
And the thunderbolt burst on the conqueror's head!
But the Gods of the Pagan shall never profane
The shrine where Jehovah disdain'd not to reign;
And scatter'd and scorn'd as thy people may be,
Our worship, oh Father! is only for thee.
BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON WE SAT DOWN AND
WE sate down and wept by the waters
Of Babel, and thought of the day
When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,
Made Salem's high places his prey;
And ye, oh her desolate daughters!
Were scatter'd all weeping away.
While sadly we gazed on the river
Which roll'd on in freedom below,
They demanded the song; but, oh never
That triumph the stranger shall know!
May this right hand be wither'd for ever,
Ere it string our high harp for the foe!
On the willow that harp is suspended,
Oh Salem! its sound should be free;
And the hour when thy glories were ended
But left me that token of thee:
And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
With the voice of the spoiler by me!
THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.
THE Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay wither'd and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breath'd in the face of the foe as he pass'd;
And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there roll'd not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
A SPIRIT PASS'D BEFORE ME.
A SPIRIT pass'd before me: I beheld
The face of immortality unveil❜d-
Deep sleep came down on every eye save mine—
And there it stood,-all formless-but divine:
Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake;
And as my damp hair stiffen'd, thus it spake :
"Is man more just than God?
Is man more pure
Than he who deems even Seraphs insecure?
Creatures of clay-vain dwellers in the dust!
The moth survives you, and are ye more just ?
Things of a day! you wither ere the night,
Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted light!"