FALLEN is thy throne, O Israel!
Silence is on thy plains;

Thy dwellings all lie desolate;

Thy children weep in chains.
Where are the dews that fed thee
On Etham's barren shore?
That fire from Heaven which led thee
Now lights thy paths no more.

Lord, thou didst love Jerusalem!
Once she was all thine own;
Thy love, her fairest heritage1,
Her power, thy glory's throne 2,

Till evil came and blighted

Thy long-lov'd olive tree 3,
And Salem's shrines were lighted
For other gods than Thee.

Then sank the star of Solyma,
Then pass'd her glory's day;
Like heath that in the wilderness 4
The wild wind whirls away.
Silent and waste her bowers

Where once the mighty trod,

And sunk those guilty towers
Where Baal reign'd as God!

"Go," said the Lord, "ye conquerors!
Steep in her blood your swords;
And raze to earth her battlements,
For they are not the Lord's;

1 Jeremiah, xii. 7.

* Jeremiah, xi. 16.


* Jeremiah, xiv. 21.

4 Jeremiah, xvii. 6.

Tell Zion's mournful daughter,

O'er kindred bones she'll tread;
And Hinnom's hall of slaughter

Shall hide but half her dead.”

But soon shall other pictur'd scenes,
In brighter visions rise,

When Zion's sun shall sevenfold shine
O'er all her mourners' eyes;

And on her beauteous mountain stand
The messenger of peace;

"Salvation by the Lord's right hand!"
They shout, and never cease.



LET us turn the prow,

And in the track of him who went to die 1,
Traverse this valley of waters, landing where
A waking dream awaits us. At a step

Two thousand years roll backward, and we stand,
Like those so long within that awful place2,
Immovable, nor asking, can it be?

Once did I linger there alone, till day
Clos'd, and at length the calm of twilight came,
So grateful, yet so solemn! At the fount,

The Elder Pliny. See the letters in which his nephew relates to Tacitus the circumstances of his death. (A. D. 79.)— In the morning of that day Vesuvius was covered with the most luxuriant vegetation; every elm had its vine, every vine (for it was in the month of August) its clusters; nor in the cities below was there a thought of danger, though their interment was so soon to take place. In Pompeii, if we may believe Dion Cassius, the people were sitting in the theatre when the work of destruction began.

2 Pompeii.

Just where the three ways meet, I stood and look'd,
('Twas near a noble house, the house of Pansa 1) —
And all was still as in the long, long night
That follow'd when the shower of ashes fell,
When they that sought Pompeii, sought in vain;
It was not to be found.
But now a ray,
Bright and yet brighter, on the pavement glanc'd,
And on the wheel-track worn for centuries 2,
And on the stepping-stones from side to side,
O'er which the maidens, with their water-urns,
Were wont to trip so lightly. Full and clear,
The moon was rising, and at once reveal'd
The name of every dweller, and his craft3;
Shining throughout with an unusual lustre,
And lighting up this City of the Dead.

Mark, where within, as though the embers liv'd,
The ample chimney-vault is dun with smoke.
There dwelt a miller 4; silent and at rest
His mill-stones now. In old companionship
Still do they stand as on the day he went,

1 The house of Pansa the edile is one of the largest yet discovered in Pompeii, and is handsomely decorated with marbles and mosaics. It is in the Via Consularis, the principal street. It is remarkable that Cicero, when on his way to Cilicia, was the bearer of a letter to Atticus from Pansa the Pompeian. "That this was the house in question, and that in the street, as we passed along, we might have met Cicero, coming or going, every pilgrim to Pompeii must wish to believe." Delighting in the beauties of the Neapolitan coast, Cicero could be no stranger in this city.

* The carriage wheels have worn deep traces in the pave


3 The houses are all numbered and named.

In this building there are four corn mills, and a stable for the donkeys, who were blindfolded, when employed in grinding the corn, as they still are in the south of Italy. Heaps of corn were found here. Amphora, or earthen jars for flour, the oven for baking, varying so little from those made at present, that it might easily be restored to its original use. Cato praises the skilful millers of Pompeii.

Each ready for its office but he comes not.
And here, hard by, (where one in idleness
Has stopt to scrawl a ship, an armed man;
And in a tablet on the wall we read

Of shows ere long to be,) a sculptor wrought,
Nor meanly; blocks, half-chisell❜d into life,
Waiting his call. Here long, as yet attests
The trodden floor, an olive-merchant drew
From many an earthen jar, no more supplied;
And here from his a vintner serv'd his guests
Largely, the stain of his o'erflowing cups
Fresh on the marble. 1 On the bench, beneath,
They sate, and quaff'd, and look'd on them that pass'd,
Gravely discussing the last news from Rome.
But lo, engraven on a threshold-stone,
That word of courtesy, so sacred once,
Hail! 2 At a master's greeting we may enter.
And lo, a fairy-palace! every where,

As through the courts and chambers we advance,
Floors of mosaic, walls of arabesque,

And columns clustering in Patrician splendour.
But hark, a footstep! May we not intrude?
And now, methinks, I hear a gentle laugh,
And gentle voices mingling as in converse!
And now a harp-string as struck carelessly,
And now
along the corridor it comes

I cannot err, a filling as of baths!

Ah, no, 'tis but a mockery of the sense, Idle and vain! We are but where we were; Still wandering in a City of the Dead!


On the marble dresser are stains evidently made by the contents of the cups having been spilled. Each shop has a stove, which was requisite, as the ancients were accustomed to boil their wines.

2 On the door-sill of one of the apartments in the house of the Vestals is the word " Salve" wrought in mosaic.



BENEATH the fiery cope of middle day

The youthful Prince, his train left all behind,
With eager ken gaz'd round him every way,
If springing well he any where might find.

His favourite falcon, from long aëry flight
Returning, and from quarry struck at last,
Told of the chase, which with its keen delight
Had thus allur'd him on so far and fast,

Till gladly he had welcom'd in his drought

The dullest pool that gather'd in the rain; But such, in fount of clearer wave, he sought Long through that land of barrenness in vain.

What pleasure when, slow stealing o'er a rock,
He spied the glittering of a little rill,
Which yet, as if his burning thirst to mock,
Did its rare treasures drop by drop distil.

A golden goblet from his saddle-bow

He loos'd, and from his steed alighted down
To wait until that fountain, trickling slow,
Shall in the end his golden goblet crown.

When set beside the promise of that draught,
How poor had seem'd to him the costliest wine,
That ever with its beaded bubbles laugh'd,
When set beside that nectar more divine.

The brimming vessel to his lips at last

He rais'd, when, lo! the falcon on his hand, With beak's and pinion's sudden impulse, cast That cup's rare treasure all upon the sand.

« VorigeDoorgaan »