Many thanks to Selina McLachlan
EVERY reader will at once perceive from the nature of the
interest, and from the language, that this drama was neither
written with a view to public representation, nor can be
adapted to it without being entirely remodelled and
rewritten. The critic will draw the same conclusion from
certain peculiarities in the composition, irreconcileable
with the arrangements of the theatre ; the introducing and
dismissing the subordinate characters after a single
appearance ; and yet appropriating to them some of the most
The groundwork of the poem is to be found in Josephus, but
the events of a considerable time are compressed into a
period of about thirty-six hours. Though their children are fictitious characters, the leaders of the Jews, Simon, John, and Eleazar, are historical. At the beginning of the siege the defenders of the city were divided into three factions. John, however, having surprised Eleazar, who occupied the Temple, during a festival, the party of Eleazar became subordinate to that of John. The character of John the Galilean was that of excessive sensuality, I have therefore considered him as belonging to the sect of the Sadducees ; Simon, on the other hand, I have represented as a native of Jerusalem, and a strict Pharisee ; although his soldiers were chiefly Edomites. The Christians, we learn from Eusebius, abandoned the city previous to the siege (by divine command, according to bur author), and took refuge in Pella, a small town on the further side of the Jordan. The constant tradition of the Church has been, that no one professing that faith perished during all the havoc which attended on this most awful visitation.
It has been my object also to show the full completion of prophecy in this great event; nor do I conceive that the public mind (should this poem merit attention) can be directed to so striking and so incontestable an evidence of the Christian faith without advantage. Those whom duty might not induce to compare the long narrative of Josephus with the Scriptural prediction of the " Abomination of Desolation," may be tempted by the embellishments of poetic language, and the interest of a dramatic fable.
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
a Stoic philosopher.
(the Historian) with the Roman army.
JEWS IN THE CITY.
son of John.
leader of the Edomites.
a false Prophet.
A Christian, by birth a Jew.
Daughters of Simon.
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
The Mount of Olives Evening.
TITUS, CAWS PLACIDUS, TIBERIUS ALEXANDER, TERENTIUS RUFUS,
ADVANCE the eagles, Caius Placidus,
Even to the walls of this rebellious city
What ! shall our bird of conquest, that
Over the world, and built her nest of
Even in the palace tops of proudest
What ! shall she check and pause here in
Her centre of dominion ? By the gods,
It is a treason to .all-conquering Rome,
That thus our baffled legions stand at
Before this hemm'd and famishing
6 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Vespasian ! I have been a soldier,
Till the helm hath worn mine aged temples
Battles have been familiar to mine eyes
As is the sunlight, and the angry Mars
Wears not a terror to appal the souls
Of constant men, but I have fronted it.
I have seen the painted Briton sweep to
On his scythed car, and when he fell, he
As one that honour'd death by nobly
And I have been where flying Parthians
Their arrows, making the pursuer check
His fierce steed with the sudden grasp of
But war like this, so frantic and so
Man ne'er beheld. Our swords are blunt
And yet, as though the earth cast up
Souls discontented with a single death,
They grow beneath the slaughter. Neither
Nor famine, nor the withering pestilence,
Subdues these prodigals of blood : by day
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 7
They cast their lives upon our swords ;
by night They turn their civil weapons on themselves, Even
till insatiate War shrinks to behold The hideous
It must be
And yet it moves me, Romans ! it
confounds The counsels of my firm philosophy, That Ruin's
merciless ploughshare must pass o'er, And barren salt be
sown on yon proud city. As on our olive-crowned hill we
stand, Where Kedron at our feet its scanty waters Distils
from stone to stone with gentle motion, As through a valley
sacred to sweet peace, How boldly doth it front us ! how
majestically ! Like a luxurious vineyard, the hill side Is
hung with marble fabrics, line o'er line, Terrace o'er
terrace, nearer still, and nearer To the blue heavens. Here
bright and sumptuous palaces, With cool and verdant gardens
8 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Here towers of war that frown in massy
While over all hangs the rich purple eve,
As conscious of its being her last
Of light and glory to that fated city.
And, as our clouds of battle dust and
Are melted into air, behold the Temple,
In undisturb'd and lone serenity
Finding itself a solemn sanctuary
In the profound of heaven ! It stands
before us 7
A mount of snow fretted with golden
The very sun, as though he worshipp'd
Lingers upon the gilded cedar roofs ;
And down the long and branching
On every flowery-sculptured capital,
Glitters the homage of his parting beams.
By Hercules ! the sight might almost win
The offended majesty of Rome to mercy.
Wond'rous indeed it is, great Son of Caesar, But it shall be
more wond'rous, when the triumph
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 9
Of Titus marches
through those brazen gates, Which seem as though they would
invite the world To worship in the precincts of her Temple,
As he in laurell'd pomp is borne along
To that new palace of
his pride. TITUS.
Tiberius ! It cannot be
be, which Rome Commands, and Titus, the great heir of Rome ?
I tell thee,
Alexander, it must fall ! Yon lofty city, and yon gorgeous
Temple, Are consecrate to Ruin. Earth is weary Of the wild
factions of this jealous people, And they must feel our
wrath, the wrath of Rome, Even so that the rapt stranger
shall admire Where that proud city stood, which was
10 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
of the Porch, imperial Titus, Of late esteem'd thee at the
height of those That with consummate wisdom have tamed down
The fierce and turbulent passions which distract The vulgar
soul ; they deem'd that, like Olympus, Thou, on thy cold and
lofty eminence, Severely didst maintain thy sacred quiet
Above the clouds and tumult of low earth. But now we see
thee stooping to the thraldom Of every fierce affection, now
entranced In deepest admiration, and anon Wrath hath the
absolute empire o'er thy soul. Methinks we must unschool our
royal pupil, And cast him back to the common herd of men.
Diagoras ; yet wherefore ask not, For vainly have I
question'd mine own reason : But thus it is I know not
whence or how, There is a stern command upon my soul.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 11
I feel the inexorable fate within
That tells me, carnage is a duty here,
And that the appointed desolation chides
The tardy vengeance of our war. Diagoras,
If that I err, impeach my tenets. Destiny
Is over all, and hard Necessity
Holds o'er the shifting course of human
Her paramount dominion. Like a flood
j The irresistible stream of fate flows
And urges in its vast and sweeping motion
Kings, Consuls, Caesars, with their
Each to his fix'd, inevitable end.
Yea, even eternal Rome, and Father Jove,
Sternly submissive, sail that onward
And now am I upon its rushing bosom,
I feel its silent billows swell beneath
Bearing me and the conquering arms of
'Gainst yon devoted city. On they pass,
And ages yet to come shall pause and
At the utter wreck, which they shall
leave behind them.
But, Placidus, I read thy look severe.
This is no time nor place for school debates On the high
points of wisdom. Let this night Our wide encircling walls
complete their circuit ; And still the approaching trenches
closer mine Their secret way : the engines and the towers
Stand each at their appointed post Terentius, That charge be
again the Roman. Faith ! like old Mummius, I should give to
the flame Whatever opposed the sovereign sway of Caesar, If
it were wrought of massy molten gold : And though I wear a
beard, I boast not much Of my philosophy. But this I know,
That to oppose the omnipotent arms of Rome Is to pluck down
and tempt a final doom.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 13
The Fountain of Siloe
once again I visit thee ! And thou art flowing on, and
freshening still The green moss, and the flowers that bend
to thee, Modestly with a soft unboastful murmur Rejoicing at
the blessings that thou bearest. Pure, stainless, thou art
flowing on ; the stars Make thee their mirror, and the
moonlight beams Course one another o'er thy silver bosom :
And yet thy flowing is through fields of
And armed men their hot and weary brows
Slake with thy limpid and perennial
Even with such rare and singular purity
Mov'st thou, oh Miriam, in yon cruel city. Men's eyes,
o'erwearied with the sights of war, With tumult and with
grief, repose on thee As on a refuge and a sweet
14 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Thou canst o'erawe, thou in thy
gentleness, A trembling, pale, and melancholy maid, The
brutal violence of ungodly men. Thou glidest on amid the
dark pollution In modesty unstain'd, and heavenly
influences, More lovely than the light 'of star or moon, As
though delighted with their own reflection From spirit so
pure, dwell evermore upon thee.
Oh ! how dost thou, beloved proselyte To
the high creed of him who died for men, Oh ! how dost thou
commend the truths I teach thee, By the strong faith and
Wherewith thy soul embraces them ! Thou
And I, who pray with thee, feel my words
And holier fervor gushing from my heart,
While heaven seems smiling kind
On the associate of so pure a worshipper.
But ah ! why com'st thou not ? these two
long nights I've watch'd for thee in vain, and have not felt
The music of thy footsteps on my spirit
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 15
VOICE AT A DISTANCE.
It is her voice
! the air is fond of it, And enviously delays its tender
sounds From the ear that thirsteth for them Miriam !
Nay, stand thus in thy timid
breathlessness, That I may gaze on thee, and thou not chide
me Because I gaze too fondly.
brought me Thy wonted offerings ?
The bursting fig, the cool and ripe
pomegranate, The skin all rosy with the emprisoned wine ;
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
All I can bear thee, more than thou canst
bear Home to the city.
Bless thee !
Oh my father ! How will thy famish'd and thy toil-bow'd
frame Resume its native majesty ! thy words, When this
bright draught hath slak'd thy parched lips, Flow with their
wonted freedom and command.
Thy father !
still no thought but of thy father ! Nay, Miriam ! but thou
must hear me now, Now ere we part if we must part again,
If my sad spirit must be rent from thine.
the city trembles on the verge
Of utter ruin. Yet a night or two,
And the fierce stranger in our burning
Stands conqueror : and how the Roman
Let Gischala, let fallen Jotapata
Tell, if one living man, one innocent
Yet wander o'er their cold and scatter'd
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 17
They slew them, Miriam, the old gray man,
Whose blood scarce tinged their swords
(nay, turn not
from me, The tears thou sheddest feel as
though I wrung them
From mine own heart, my life-blood's
They slew them, Miriam, at the mother's
breast, The smiling infants ; and the tender maid", The
soft, the loving, and the chaste, like thee,
They slew her not till
I have enough at home of thoughts like
these, Thoughts horrible, that freeze the blood, and make A
heavier burthen of this weary life. I hoped with thee t'
have pass'd a tranquil hour, A brief, a hurried, yet still
tranquil hour ! But thou art like them all ! the miserable
Have only Heaven, where they can rest in peace, Without
being mock'd and taunted with their misery.
18 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Thou know'st it
is a lover's wayward joy
To be reproach'd by her he loves, or thus
Thou would'st not speak. But 'twas not to
That sweet reproof, which sounds so like
I would alarm thee, shock thee, but to
That old and, secret stair, down which
At midnight through tall grass and olive
Which cumber, yet conceal thy difficult
It cannot long remain secure and open ;
Nearer and closer the stern Roman winds
His trenches ; and on every side but this
Soars his emprisoning wall. Yet, yet 'tis
And I must bear thee with me, where are
In Pella the neglected church of Christ.
With thee ! to
fly with thee ! thou mak'st me fear Lest all tliis while I
have deceived my soul, Excusing to myself our stolen
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 19
By the fond thought, that for my father's
life I labour'd, bearing sustenance from thee, Which he hath
deem'd heaven-sent. JAVAN.
Oh ! farewell then
faithless dream, the sweet yet faithless dream, That Miriam
loves me !
Love thee ! I
Here at dead midnight by the fountain's
Trusting thee, Javan, with a faith as
As that with which the instinctive infant
To its mother's bosom Love thee ! when
Of massacre are round me, when the shouts
Of frantic men hi battle rack the soul
With then importunate and jarring din,
Javan, I think on thee, and am at peace.
Our famish'd maidens gaze on me, and see
That I am famish'd like themselves, as
with lips as parch'd and eyes as wild,
20 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Sit patient with an enviable smile
On my wan cheeks, for then my spirit
Contented on its pleasing thoughts of
My very prayers are full of thee, I look
To heaven and bless thee ; for from thee I learnt
The way by which we reach the eternal
injurious Javan ! coldly doubtest !
And Oh ! but I have said too much ! Oh !
scorn not The immodest maid, whom thou hast vex'd to utter
What yet she scarce dared whisper to herself.
Will it then
cease ? will it not always sound Sweet, musical as thus ?
and wilt thou leave me ?
MIRIAM. My father !
Miriam ! is not thy father
(Oh, that such flowers should bloom on
such a stock !) The curse of Israel ? even his common name
Simon the Assassin ! of the bloody men
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 21
That hold their iron sway within yon
city, The bloodiest!
Oh cease ! I
pray thee cease ! Javan ! I know that all men hate my father
; Javan ! I fear that all should hate my father ; And
therefore, Javan, must his daughter's love, Her dutiful, her
deep, her fervent love, Make up to his forlorn and desolate
The forfeited affections of his kind.
Is't not so written in our Law ? and He
We worship came not to destroy the Law. Then let men rain
their curses, let the storm Of human hate beat on his rugged
trunjc, I will cling to him, starve, die, bear the scoffs Of
men upon my scatter'd bones with him.
Oh, Miriam !
what a fatal art hast thou Of winding thought, word, act, to
thy sole purpose ; The enamouring one even now too much
22 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
I must admire thee more for so denying,
Than I had dared if thou hadst fondly granted. Thou dost
devote thyself to uttfflrest peril, And me to deepest
anguish ; yet even now Thou art lovelier to me in thy cold
severity, Flying me, leaving me without a joy, Without a
hope on earth, without thyself; Thou art lovelier now than
if thy yielding soul Had smiled on me a passionate consent.
Go ! for I see thy parting homeward look,
Go in thy beauty !
like a setting star,
The last in all the thick and moonless
O'er the lone traveller in the trackless
Go ! if this dark and miserable earth
Do jealously refuse us place for meeting,
There is a heaven for those who trust in
I had forgot
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 23
The fruit, the wine Oh ! when I part from
How can I think of ought but thy last
Bless thee !
but we may meet again even here ! Thou look'st consent, I
see it through thy tears. Yet once again that cold sad word,
The House of Simon.
Oh God ! thou
surely dost approve mine act,
For thou didst bid thy soft and silver
To light me back upon my intricate way.
Even o'er each shadowy thing at which I
She pour'd a sober beauty, and my terror
Was mingled with a sense of calm delight.
How changed that way ! when yet a
It was my sport to thread that broken
24 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
That from our house leads down into the
By which, in ancient days, the maidens
To bathe in the cool fountain's secret
In each wild olive trunk, and twisted
Of sycamore, with ivy overgrown,
I have nestled, and the flowers would
seem to welcome me.
I loved it with a child's capricious
Because none knew it but myself. Its
I loved, for still my sole companions
The doves, sate murmuring in the noonday
* Ah ! now there broods no bird of peace
and love !
'Even as I pass'd, a sullen vulture rose,
And heavily it flagp'd its huge wings
o'er me, As though o'ergorged with blood of Israel.
MIRIAM, S ALONE. :
Sister, not yet at rest?
At rest! at
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 25
The wretched and the desperate, let
The dull, the dreamless, the unconscious
sleep, To lap them in its stagnant lethargy. But oh ! the
bright, the rapturous disturbances . That break my haunted
slumbers ! Fast they come, They crowd around my couch, and
all my chamber Is radiant with them. There I lie and bask In
their glad promise, till the oppressed spirit Can bear no
more, and I come forth to breathe The cool free air.
in our state So dark, so hopeless, dreaming still of glory !
Miriam ! I tell thee, oft I have told thee, nightly do the
visitations Break on my gifted sight, more golden bright
Than the rich morn on Carmel. Of their shape, Sister, I know
not ; this I only know, That they pour o'er me like the
26 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Of some pure cataract in the noontide
There is a mingling of all glorious
Of Angels riding upon cloudy thrones,
And our proud city marching all abroad
Like a crown'd conqueror o'er the
Alas ! when
God afflicts us in his wrath, 'Tis sin to mock with wild
untimely gladness His stern inflictions. Else, beloved
Salone, My soul would envy thee thy mad forgetfulness, And
dote on the distraction of thy dreams Till it imbibed the
infection of their joy.
SALONE. What mean'st thou ?
Ah ! thou
know'st too well, Salone, How with an audible and imperious
voice The Lord is speaking in the streets of Judah, " Down
to the dust, proud daughters of Jerusalem ! " The crownings
of your head be bitter ashes,
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 27
"Your festal garments changed to mourning
sackcloth, " Your bridal songs fail into burial wailings."
songs ! Away ! I know them now, They were the rich and
bursting cadences That thrall'd mine ears. I tell thee,
doubting woman ! My spirit drank the sounds of all the city.
And there were shriekings for the dead, and sobs Of dying
men, and the quick peevish moan Of the half famish'd : there
were trumpet sounds Of arming to the battle, and the shouts
Of onset, and the fall of flaming houses Crashing around.
But in the house of Simon, The silver lute spake to the
dulcimer ; The tabret and the harp held sweet .discourse;
And all along our roofs, and all about The silence of our
chambers flow'd the sweetness. Even yet I hear them Hark !
yet, yet they sound.
MIRIAM. Alas ! we listen to our own
28 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Even till they seem no more Cur fancy's children.
We put them on a prophet's robes, endow
With prophets' voices, and then Heaven
speaks in them,
And that which we would have be, surely
thou still? still enviously doubtest The mark'd and favour'd
of the Everlasting ?
Lord ! thou know'at she hath not eaten For two long days,
and now her troubled brain is full of strangeness.
Ha ! still
unbelieving ! Then, then 'tis true, what I have doubted
False traitress to our city, to the race,
The chosen race of Abraham ! loose
From Israel's faith ! Believer in the
I know thee, I abjure thee. Thou'rt no
Of Simon's house, no sister of Salone :
I blot thee from my heart, I wipe away
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 29
All memory of our
youthful pleasant hours,
Our blended sports and tasks, and joys
and sorrows ;
Yea, I'll proclaim thee.
dearest sister ! Thou seest that I cannot speak for tears.
Away ! thou
wilt not speak, thou dar'st not Hark ! My father's armed
footstep ! at whose tread Sion rejoices, and the pavement
stones Of Salem shout with proud and boastful echos. The
Gentiles' scourge, the Christians' tremble, false one !
MIRIAM, SALONE, SIMON.
SALONE. Father !
Dear father !
Daughters, I have been
30 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
With Eleazar, and
with John of Galilee,
The son of Sadoc. We have search'd the
If any rebel to our
Do traitorously withhold his private
Of stolen provision from the public
And found ye
any guilty of a fraud
So base on Judah's warriors ?
Yes, my children !
There sate a woman in a lowly house, And she had moulded
meal into a cake ; And she sate weeping even in wild delight
Over her sleeping infants, at the thought Of how their eyes
would glisten to behold The unaccustom'd food. She had not
tasted Herself the strange repast ; but she had raised The
covering under which the children lay Crouching and clinging
fondly to each otter, As though the warmth that breath'd
from out their bodies
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 31
Had some refreshment for their wither'd
We bared our swords to slay : but subtle
John Snatch'd the food from her, trod it on the ground, And
MIRIAM. But thou didst not smite her,
No ! we were
wiser than to bless with death A wretch like her.
But I must seek within, If he that oft at
dead of midnight placeth The wine and fruit within our
chosen house, Hath minister'd this night to Israel's chief,
Oh, Miriam ! I dare not tell him now !
For even as those two infants lay together Nestling their
sleeping faces on each other, Eve so have we two lain, and I
32 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Thy breath upon my face, and every motion
Of thy soft bosom answering to mine own.
SIMON, SALONE, MIRIAM.
daughters, I have wash'd my bloody hands, And said. my
prayers, and we will eat And thee
First will I bless, thou secret
That mine ambrosial banquet dost prepare
With gracious stealth : where'er thou
art, if yet
Thy unseen presence lingers in our air,
Or walks our earth in beauty, hear me
MIRIAM (apart ),
blesseth me ! me, though he means it not I thought to have
"heard his stern heart withering curse, And God hath changed
it to a gentle blessing.
Why stands my
loving Miriam aloof? Will she not join to thank the God of
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 33
Who thus with signal mercy seals her
father His chosen captain.
must I endure For if he knew it came from Christian hands,
While the ripe fruit was bursting at his
lips, While the cool wine-cup slaked his burning throat,
He'd dash it to the earth, and trample on it ; And then he
'd perish, perish in his sins : Father, I come but I have
vow'd to sing A hymn this night, I'll follow thee anon.
SIMON. Come, then, Salone ; while we
feast, I'll tell thee
More deeds of justice that mine arm hath
wrought Against the foes of Salem, and the renegades That
have revolted from the arms of Israel. And thou shalt Wave
thy raven locks with pride To hear the stern-told glories of
MIRIAM, alone. Oh Thou ! thou who canst
melt the heart of stone,
FALL OF JERUSALEiM.
And make the desert, of the cruel breast
A paradise of soft and gentle thoughts ! Ah ! will it ever
be, that thou wilt visit The darkness of my father's soul ?
Thou knowest In what strong bondage Zeal and ancient Faith,
Passion and stubborn Custom, and fierce Pride, Hold th'
heart of man. Thou knowest, Merciful ! That knowest all
things, and dost ever turn Thine eye of pity on our guilty
For thou wert born of woman ! thou didst
come, Oh Holiest ! to this world of sin and gloom, Not in
thy dread omnipotent array ; j^nd not by thunders strew'd
Was thy tempestuous road ; Nor indignation burnt before thee
on thy way. But thee, a soft and naked child,
Thy mother undefiled, In the rude manger
laid to rest From off her virgin breast.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 35
The heavens were not commanded to prepare
A gorgeous canopy of golden air ; Nor stoop'd their lamps th'
enthroned fires on high : A single silent star Came
wandering from afar,
Gliding uncheck'd and calm along the
liquid sky ; The Eastern Sages leading on
As at a kingly throne, To lay their gold
and odours sweet Before thy infant feet.
The Earth and Ocean were not hush'd to
Bright harmony from every starry sphere ;
Nor at thy presence brake the voice of song From all the
cherub choirs, And seraphs' burning lyres
Pour'd thro' the host of heaven the
charmed clouds along. One angel troop the strain began,
Of all the race of man By simple shepherds heard alone, That
soft Hosanna's tone.
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
And when thou didst depart, no car of
flame To bear thee hence in lambent radiance came ; Nor
visible Angels mourn'd with drooping plumes : Nor didst thou
mount on high From fatal Calvary .
With all thine own redeem'd out bursting
from their tombs. For thou didst bear away from earth
But one of human birth, The dying felon
by thy side, to be In Paradise with thee.
Nor o'er thy cross the clouds of
vengeance brake ; A little while the conscious earth did
shake At that foul deed by her fierce children done ; A few
dim hours of day The world in darkness lay ;
Then bask'd in bright repose beneath the
cloudless sun : While thou didst sleep within the tomb,
Consenting to thy doom j Ere yet the
white-robed Angel shone Upon the sealed stone.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 37
And when thou didst arise, thou didst not
With Devastation in thy red right hand,
Plaguing the guilty city's murtherous crew ; But thou didst
haste to meet Thy mother's coming feet,
And bear the words of peace unto the
faithful few. Then calmly, slowly didst thou rise
Into thy native skies, Thy human form
dissolved on high In its own radiancy.
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
The House of Simon
Break of Day.
The air is still and cool. It comes not
yet : I thought that I had felt it in my sleep Weighing upon
my choked and labouring breast, That did rejoice beneath the
stern oppression; I thought I saw its lurid gloom
The starless waning night. But yet it
The broad and sultry thundercloud,
wherein The God of Israel evermore pavilions The chariot of
his vengeance. I look out, And still, as I have seen, morn
after morn, The hills of Judah flash upon my sight The
accursed radiance of the Gentile arms.
But oh ! ye sky-descending ministers,
That on invisible and noiseless wing Stoop to your earthly
purposes, as swift As rushing fire, and terrible as the wind
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 39
That sweeps the tentless desert Ye that
move Shrouded in secrecy as in a robe, And gloom of deepest
midnight the vaunt-courier Of your dread presence ! Will ye
not reveal? Will ye not one compassionate glimpse vouchsafe,
By what dark instruments 'tis now your charge
To save the Holy City ? Lord of Israel !
Thee too I ask, with bold yet holy awe,
Which now of thy obsequious elements
Choosest thou for thy champion and thy
For well they know, the wide and deluging
The ravenous Fire, and the
Yea, and the yawning and wide-chasmed
They know thy bidding, by frx'd habit
To the usage of obedience. Or the rather,
Look we in weary yet undaunted hope
For Him that is to come, the Mighty Arm,
The Wearer of the purple robe of
The Crowned with dominion? Let him haste;
The wine-press waits the trampling of his
40 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
And Judah yearns t' unfurl the Lion
banner Before the terrible radiance of his .coming.
JOHN, ELEAZAR, the
How, Simon ! have we broken on thy
privacy ! Thou wert discoursing with the spirits of air.
Now, Eleazar, were not holy Simon The just, the merciful,
the righteous Simon, A vessel meet for the prophetic trance
? Mi-thinks 'tis on him now !
Ha ! John of
Still in the taunting vein ? Reserv'st
thou not The bitter overflowings of thy lips For yon fierce
Gentiles ? But I will endure.
perchance 'twill please the saintly Simon, When he hath
mumbled o'er his two-hour prayers,
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 4
That we do ope our gates, and sally forth
To combat the uncircumcised
Fall on me as the thin and scattering
rain Upon our Temple. If thou art here to urge That, with
confederate valiant resolution, We burst upon the enemies of
Jerusalem ; The thunder followeth not the lightning's flash
More swiftly than my warlike execution Shall follow the
fierce trumpet of thy wrath !
But hast thou
ponder'd well, if still there be not Some holy fast, new
moon, or rigid sabbath, Which may excuse a tame and coward
peace For one day longer to your men of Edom ?
Oh ! 'tis
unwise, ye sworded delegates Of Him who watcheth o'er
Jerusalem, Thus day by day in angry quarrel meeting
42 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
To glare upon each other, and to waste
In civil strife the blood that might
The Roman conquers, but by Jewish arms.
The torrent, that in one broad channel
Bears down the labour'd obstacles of man,
The o'erstriding bridge, the fix'd and
Being sever'd, in its lazy separate
Suffers control, and stagnates to its
And so ye fall, because ye do disdain
To stand together like the pines of
That when in one vast wood they crown the
From their proud heads shake off the
uninjuring tempest ;
But when their single trunks stand bare
Before the rushing whirlwind, one by one
It hurls the uprooted trunks into the
on his words of peace ! fall John, fall Simon, There falls
an enemy of Eleazar.
SIMON. Now, John of Galilee, the*
High-Priest speaks wisely.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 48
Why, ay, it is
the privilege of their office, The solemn grave distinction
of their ephod. Even such discourse as this, so calm, so
sage, Did old Mathias hold ; and therefore Simon, Unwilling
that the vantage of his wisdom Should rob our valour of its
boasted fame, Did slay him with his sons upon our wall !
Peace, son of Belial ! or I'll scourge
To the harlot chambers of thy loose adulteries.
I slew my foe, and where's the armed man
That will behold his enemy at his feet,
And spare to set his foot upon his neck ?
The sword was given, and shall the sword not slay ?
off! break off! I hear the Gentile horn Winding along the
wide entrenched line. Hear ye it not ? hill answers hill,
die valleys In their deep channels lengthen out the sound.
It rushes down Jehoshaphat, the depths
44 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Of Hinnom answer. Hark ! again they blow,
Chiding you, men of Judah, and insulting Your bare and
vacant walls, that now oppose not Then* firm array of
javelin-hurling men, Slingers, and pourers of the liquid
Blow ! blow !
and rend the heavens, thou deep-voiced horn ! I hear thee,
and rejoice at thee. Thou summoner To the storm of battle,
thpu that dost invite With stern and welcome importunity The
warrior soul to that high festival, Where Valour with his
armed hand administers The cup of death !
Again, again it
sounds ; It doth demand a parley with our chiefs.
Ay, father !
and let Israel's chiefs reply
In the brave language of their javelin
And shouts of furious onset.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 45
Hold, hot boy !
know'st not the deep luxury of scorn. We'll meet them,
Simon, but to scoff at them ; We'll dally with their hopes
of base surrender, Then mock them, till their haughty
captain writhe Beneath the keen and biting contumely.
Now, Eleazar, lead the way ; brave Simon,
I follow thee Come, men of Israel, come.
Tfte Walls of the
Below TITUS, the Roman Army, JOSEPH
qfJotapata, fyc. Above SIMON, JOHN, ELEAZAR, AMARIAH, Jews.
Jerusalem ! whose hardy zeal And valiant patience in a cause
less desperate Might force the foe to reverence and admire ;
To you thus speaks again the Queen of Earth,
46 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
All-conquering Rome ! whose kingdom is,
The sunshine beams on living men ;
The shadow of whose throne the world
And glories in being subjected to her,
Even as 'tis subject to the immortal gods
To you, whose mad and mutinous revolt
Hath harrow'd all your rich and pleasant
With fiery rapine ; sunk your lofty
To desolate heaps of monumental ashes ;
Yet with that patience, which becomes the
The endurance of the lion, that disdains
The foe whose conquest bears no glory
Rome doth command you to lay down your
And bow the high front of your proud
Even to the common level of obedience,
That holds the rest of humankind. So
Ye cancel all the dark and guilty past :
Silent Oblivion waits to wipe away
The record of your madness arid your
And in the stead of bloody Vengeance
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 47
Her penal due of torture, chains, and
death, Comes reconciling Mercy.
Mercy ! Roman !
what a humble and a modest truth Thou dost commend thy
unpresuming virtues. Ye want not testimonies to your
mildness There, on yon lofty crosses, which surround us,
Each with a Jewish corpse sublimely rotting On its most
honourable eminence ; There's none in all that long and
ghastly avenue Whose wind-bleach'd bones depose not of thy
mercy. We know our brethren, and we thank thee too ; A
courteous welcome hast thou given them, Roman, Who have
abandon'd us in the hour of peril. They fled to 'scape their
ruthless countrymen ; And, in good truth, their City of
Refuge seems To have found them fair and gentle
SIMON. Peace, Jolm of Galilee ! and I
48 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
This purple-mantled Captain of the
But in far other tone than he is Wont
To hear about his silken couch of
Amid his pamper'd parasites. I speak to
Titus, as warrior should accost a
The world, thou boastest, is Rome's slave
; the sun
Rises and sets upon no realm but yours ;
Ye plant your giant foot in either ocean,
And vaunt that all which ye o'erstride is
But think ye, that because the common
Surfeits your pride with homage, that our
Our separate, peculiar, sacred land,
Portion'd and seal'd unto us by the God
Who made the round world and the crystal
A wond'rous land, where Nature's common
Is strange and out of use, so oft the
Invades it with miraculous intervention ;
Think ye this land shall be an Heathen
An high place for your Moloch ? Haughty
Even now ye walk on ruin and on prodigy.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 49
The air ye breathe is heavy and
With your dark gathering doom ; and if
Do yet in its disdain endure the footing
Of your arm'd legions, 'tis because it
With silent throes of expectation,
The signal of your scattering. Lo ! the
Bend o'er you with their huge and
Ready to rush and overwhelm : the winds
Do listen panting for the tardy presence
Of Him that shall avenge. And there is
Yea, there is laughter in our fathers'
To think that Heathen conqueror doth
To lord it over God's Jerusalem !
Yea, in Hell's deep and desolate abode,
Where dwell the perish'd kings, the chief
of earth ;
They whose idolatrous warfare erst
The Holy City, and the chosen people ;
They wait for thee, the associate of
And fatal fall, to join their ruin'd
He whom the Red Sea 'whelm'd with all his
50 FAtL OF JERUSALEM.
Pharaoh, the Egyptian ; and the kings of
Canaan ; The Philistine, the Dagon worshipper; Moab, and
Edom, and fierce Amalek ; And he of Babylon, whose
multitudes, . Even on the hills where gleam your myriad
spears, In one brief night the invisible Angel swept With
the dark, noiseless shadow of his wing, And morn beheld the
fierce and riotous camp One cold, and mute, and tombless
cemetery, Sennacherib : all, all are risen, are moved ; Yea,
they take up the taunting song of welcome To him who, like
themselves, hath .madly warr'd 'Gainst Zion's walls, and
miserably fallen Before the avenging God of Israel !
Simon ! Oh, prophetic Simon ! Lead thou, lead thou against
the Gentile host, And we will ask no angel breath to blast
them. The valour of her children soon shall scatter The
spoiler from the rescued walls of Salem,
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 51
Even till the wolves of Palestine are
glutted With Roman carnage.
sacred priests, Your trumpets, as when Jericho of old Cast
down its prostrate walls at Joshua's feet !
Let the Jew
speak, the captive of Jotapata ; Haply they'll reverence
one, and him the bravest Of their own kindred.
See ! he
speaks to them ;
And they do listen, though their menacing
brows Lower with a darker and more furious hate.
Yet, yet a
little while ye see me rise, Oh, men of Israel, brethren,
countrymen ! Even from the earth ye see me rise, where lone,
And sorrowful, and fasting, I have sate These three long
days ; sad sackcloth on the limbs
52 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Which once were wont to wear a soldier's
And ashes on the head, which ye of old
Did honour, when its helmed glories shone
Before you in the paths of battle. Hear
Ye that, as I, adore the Law, the
And at the ineffable thrice-holiest name
Bow down your awe-struck foreheads to the
I am not here to tell you, men of Israel,
That it is madness
to contend with Rome ;
That it were wisdom to submit and follow
The common fortunes of the universe ;
For ye would answer, that 'tis glorious
To stand alone amid the enslaved world
Freedom's last desperate champions : ye
That the slave's wisdom to the free-born
Is basest folly. Oh, my countrymen !
Before no earthly king do I command you
To fall subservient, not all-conquering
But in a mightier name I summon you,
The King of Kings ! He, he is manifest
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 53
In the dark visitation that is on you.
'Tis He, whose loosed and raging ministers, ' Wild War,
gaunt Famine, leprous Pestilence, But execute his delegated
wrath. Yea, by the fulness of your crimes, 'tis He. Alas !
shall I weep o'er thee, or go down And grovel in the dust,
and hide myself From mine own shame ? Oh, thou defiled
Jerusalem !. That drinkest thine own blood as from a
That hast piled up the fabric of thy
* To such portentous height, that earth
With its huge shadow that dost boast the
monuments Of murder'd prophets, and dost make the robes
Of God's High-priest a
title and a claim To bloodiest slaughter thou that every day
Dost trample down the thunder-given Law, Even with the pride
and joy of him that treads The purple vintage And oh thou,
our Temple ! That wert of old the Beauty of Holiness, The
chosen, unapproachable abode Of Him which dwelt between the
54 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
* Thou art a charnel-house, and sepulchre
Of slaughter'^ men, a common butchery Of
civil strife ; and hence proclaim I, brethren, It is the
Lord who doth avenge his own : The Lord, who gives you over
to the wicked, That ye may perish by their wickedness.
Oh ! ye that do disdain to be Rome's
slaves, And yet are sold unto a baser bondage, One that,
like iron, eats into your souls.
Robbers, and Zealots, and wild Edomites !
Yea, these are they that sit in Moses'
Wield Joshua's sword, and fill the throne
of David ; Yea, these are they
I'll hear no
more the foe Claims from our lips the privilege of reply.
Here is our answer to the renegade, A javelin to his pale
and coward heart !
I am struck,
but not to death ! .that yet is wanting To Israel's guilt.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 55
Oh, noble Amariah !
Well hast thou spoken ! well hast thou replied ! Lead lead
we'll follow noble Amariah !
Now, Mercy, to
the winds ! I cast thee off My soul's forbidden luxury, I
abjure thee ! Thou much-abused attribute of gods And godlike
men. 'Twas nature's final struggle ; And now, whate'er thou
art, thou unseen prompter ! That hi the secret chambers of
my soul Darkly abidest, and hast still rebuked The soft
compunctious weakness of mine heart, I here surrender thee
myself. Now wield me Thine instrument of havoc and of
horror, Thine to the extremest limits of revenge ; Till not
a single stone of yon proud city Remain ; and even the
vestiges of ruin Be utterly blotted from the face of earth !
56 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Streets of Jerusalem
near the Inner Wall. MIRIAM, SALONS.
whither in such haste ?
thou not My customary seat, where I look down And see the
glorious battle deepen round me ? a 9 Oh ! it is
spirit-stirring to behold The crimson garments waving in the
dust, The eagles glancing in the clouded sunshine.
MIRIAM. Salone ! in this dark and solemn
Were it not wiser that the weak and
helpless, Bearing their portion in the common danger, Should
join their feeble efforts to defend
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 57
Should be upon their knees in fervent
prayer Unto the Lord of Battles ?
Yes ; I know
That Zion's daughters are set forth to
lead Their suppliant procession to the gates Of the Holy
Temple. But Salone goes Where she may see the God whom they
adore In the stern deeds of valiant men, that war To save
that Temple from the dust.
I mount my
throne, and here I sit the queen Of the majestic tumult that
beneath me Is maddening into conflict. Lo ! I bind My dark
locks, that they spread not o'er my sight. Now flash the
bright sun from your gleaming arms, Shake it in broad sheets
from your banner folds, Mine eyes will still endure the
blaze, and pierce The thickest !
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
And thou hast no tears to blind thee?
behold ! from Olivet they pour, Thousands on thousands, in
their martial order. ' Kedron's dark valley, like
Gennesareth, When over it the cold moon shines through
storms, Topping its dark waves with uncertain light, Is
tossing with wild plumes and gleaming spears. Solemnly the
stern lictors move, and brandish Their rod-bound axes ; and
the eagles seem,
With wings dispread, to watch their time
**'' . ' A * *
towers are moving on ; and lo ! the engines,
As though instinct with life, come
heavily labouring Upon their ponderous wheels ; they nod
destruction Against our walls. Lo ! lo, our gates fly open :
There Eleazar there the mighty John Ben Cathla there, and
Edom's. crested sons. Oh ! what a blaze of glory gathers
round them ! How proudly move they in invincible strength !
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 59
And thou canst speak thus with a
steadfast voice, When in one hour may death have laid in the
dust Those breathing, moving, valiant multitudes ?
And thou ! oh
thou, that movest to the battle Even like the mountain stag
to the running river, Pause, pause, that I may gaze my fill
Our father !
Salone ! is't our father that thou seest
Lo ! lo ! the
war hath broken off to admire him ! The glory of his
presence awes the conflict ! The son of Caesar on his armed
steed Rises, impatient of the plumed helms That from his
sigjit conceal young Amariah.
Alas ! what
means she ? Hear me yet a word ! I will return or e'er the
60 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Require our soft and healing hands to
soothe them. Thou'lt not forget, Salone if thou seest Our
father in the fearful hour of peril, Lift up thy hands and
To gaze on him
It is like gazing on the morning sun, When he comes
scattering from his burning orb . The vapourish clouds !
She hears, she
heeds me not. And here's a sight and sound to me more
welcome Than the wild fray of men who slay and die Our
maidens on their way to the Holy Temple. I'll mingle with
them, and I'll pray with them ; But through a name, by them
unknown or scorn'd, My prayers shall mount to heaven*
Behold them here !
Behold them, how unlike to what they were ! Oh ! virgin
daughters of Jerusalem !
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 61
Ye were a garden once of Hermon's lilies,
That bashfully upon their tremulous stems Bow to the wooing
breath of the sweet spring. Graceful ye were ! there needed
not the tone Of tabret, harp, or lute, to modulate Your soft
harmonious footsteps ; your light tread Fell like a natural
music. Ah ! how deeply Hath the cold blight of misery prey'd
upon you. How heavily ye drag your weary footsteps, Each
like a mother mourning her one child. Ah me ! I feel it
almost as a sin, To be so much less sad, less miserable.
King of Kings
! and Lord of Lords ! Thus we move, our sad steps timing
To our cymbals' feeblest chiming,
Where thy House its rest accords.
Chased and wounded birds are we, Through
the dark air fled to thee ;
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
To the shadow of thy wings,
Lord of Lords ! and King of Kings !
Behold, oh Lord ! the Heathen tread
The branches of thy fruitful vine, That
its luxurious tendrils spread -
O'er all the hills of Palestine. And now
the wild boar comes to waste Even us, the greenest boughs
and last, That, drinking of thy choicest dew, On Zion's hill
in beauty grew.
No ! by the marvels of thine hand, Thou
still wilt save thy chosen land ! By all thine ancient
mercies shown, By all our fathers' foes o'erthrown ; By the
Egyptian's car-borne host, Scatter'd on the Red Sea coast ;
By that wide and bloodless slaughter Underneath the drowning
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 63
Like us in utter helplessness, In their last and worst
distress On the sand and sea-weed lying, Israel pour'd her
doleful sighing ; While before the deep sea flow'd, And
behind fierce Egypt rode To their fathers' God they pray'd,
To the Lord of Hosts for aid.
On the margin of the flood
With lifted rod the Prophet stood $
And the summon'd east wind blew,
And aside it sternly threw
The gather'd waves, that took their
Like crystal rocks, on either hand,
Or walls of sea-green marble piled
Round some irregular city wild.
Then the light of morning lay On the
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Where the treasures of the deep In their
caves of coral sleep. The profound abysses, where Was never
sound from upper air, Rang with Israel's chanted words, King
of Kings ! and Lord of Lords !
Then with bow and banner glancing,
On exulting Egypt came, With her chosen
And her cars on wheels of flame, In a
rich and boastful ring All around her furious king.
But the Lord from out his cloud, The Lord
look'd down upon the proud ; And the host drave heavily Down
the deep bosom of the sea.
With a quick and sudden swell Prone the
liquid ramparts fell ;
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 6'5
Over horse, and over car, Over every man
of war, Over Pharaoh's crown of gold, The loud thundering
billows roll'd. As the level waters spread Down they sank,
they sank like lead, Down sank without a cry or groan. And
the morning sun, that shone
On myriads of bright-armed men,
Its meridian radiance then
Cast on a wide sea, heaving as of yore,
Against a silent, solitary shore.
Then did Israel's maidens sing,
Then did Israel's timbrels ring, To him,
the King of Kings ! that in the sea, The Lord of Lords ! had
And our timbrels' flashing chords, King
of Kings ! and Lord of Lords !
66 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Shall they not attuned be Once again to
victory ? _. Lo ! a glorious triumph now !
Lo ! against thy people come A mightier
Pharaoh ! wilt not thou
Craze the chariot wheels of Rome ? Will
not, like the Red Sea wave,
Thy stern anger overthrow ? And from
worse than bondage save,
From sadder than Egyptian woe, Those
whose silver cymbals glance, Those who lead the suppliant
dance, Thy race, the only race that sings Lord of Lords !
and King of Kings !
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 67
Streets of Jerusalem
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 That from our city walls seem wandering on Under the
cedar-tufted precipices ; With what an envious and a
hurrying swiftness. Didst thou descend, and pour thy
mantling dews And dew-like silence o'er the face of things ;
Shrouding each spot I loved the most with suddenest And
deepest darkness ; making mute the groves Where the Ijirds
nestled under the still leaves ! But now, how slowly,
heavily thou fullest I Now, when thou mightest hush the
angry din Of battle, and conceal the murtherous foes From
mutual slaughter, and pour oil and wine
68 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Into the aching hurts of wounded men !
But is it therefore only that I chide thee With querulous
impatience ? will Jhe night Once more, the secret,
counsel-keeping night, Veil the dark path which leads to
Siloe's fountain ? Which leads why should- 1 blush to add to
Oh thou, my teacher ! I forgot thee not
This morning hi the Temple I forgot not The name thou
taught'st me to adore, nor thee
But what have I to do with thoughts like
these, While all around the stunning battle roars Like a
gorged lion o'er his mangled prey ? Alas! alas! but the
human appetite For shedding blood,- that is insatiate ! Time
was, that if I heard a sound of arms, My heart would
shudder, and my limbs would fail. When, to have seen a dying
man had been A dark event, that with its fearful memory Had
haunted many a sad and sleepless night. But now now
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 69
Sister ! my
Salone ! Sister ! Why art thou flying with that frantic
mien, Thy veil cast back and streaming with thine hair ? Oh,
harbinger of misery ! I read A sad disastrous story in thy
face ; 'Tis o'er, and God hath given the city of David Unto
Oh ! not yet ;
our wall, . Our last, our strongest wall, is still unshaken,
Though the fierce, engines with their brazen heads Strike at
it sternly and incessantly. ..
MIRIAM. Then God preserve the lost ! and
oh, our father !
SALONE. All is not lost ! for Amariah
70 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Amid the rushing sheets of molten fire,
Even like an Angel in the flaming centre
Of the sun's noontide orb
Hark! hark! who comes?
Back back I
father's voice ! It sounds in wrath, perhaps in blasphemy ;
Yet 'tis my living father's voice He's here.
SIMON, MIRIAM, SALONE,
Now may your
native towers rush o'er your heads With horrible downfall,
may the treacherous stones Start underneath your footing,
cast you down, For the iron wheels of vengeance to rush o'er
you Flight ! flight ! still flight ! Oh, infidel renegades !
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 71
The above, JOHN,
AMARJAH, HIGH-PRIEST, fyc. .
Now, by the
living God of Israel, John !
Your silken slaves, your golden-sandal'd
Your men ! I should have said, your girls
of Galilee !
They will not soil their dainty hands
Their myrrh-dew'd locks are all too
To let the riotous and dishevelling airs
Of battle violate their crisped neatness.
Oh ! their nice mincing steps are all
To tread the red and slippery paths of
Yet they can trip it lightly when they
Thou lying and injurious Pharisee ! For
every man of thine that in the trenches Hardly hath
consented to lay down his life, Twice ten of mine have
leap'd from off the walls,
72 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Grappling a Gentile by the shivering
helm, And proudly died upon his dying foe. But tell thou me,
thou only faithful Simon ! Where are the men of Edom, whom
we saw Stretching their amicable hands in parley, And
quietly mingling with the unharming foe ?
Where are they
? where the traitors meet, where all The foes of Simon and
Jerusalem, In th' everlasting fire ! I slew them, John-,-
Thou saw'st my red hand glorious with their blood.
False traitors !
in their very treachery false ! They would betray without
their lord In truth, Treason, like empire, brooks not
Now, by the
bones of Abraham our father, I do accuse thee here, false
John of Galilee ! Or, if the title pleas'e thee, John the
Tyrant ! Here, in our arm'd, embattled Sanhedrim,
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 73
Thou art our fall's prime cause, and
fatal origin !
From thee, as from a foul and poisonous
Pour the black waters of calamity
O'er Judah's land 1 God hates thee, man
of Belial !
Andi the. destroying bolts that fall on
From the insulted heavens, blast all
With spacious and unsparing desolation.
Hear me, ye men of Israel ! do ye wonder
That all your baffled valour hath
From the fierce Gentile onset ? that your
Are prostrate, and your last hath scarce
But now the flush'd invader ? 'Tis from
that the Holy City will not be defended
By womanish men, and loose adulterers.
Hear me, I say, this son of Gisehala,
This lustful tyrant, hath he not defiled
Your daughters, in the open face of day
Done deeds of shame, which midnight hath
J W" So deep as to conceal ? It is his
T' offend high heaven with crimes before
. 74 FALL OF.
Hath he nut mock'd the austere and solemn
And sabbaths of our Law, by revellings
And most heaven-tainting wantonness ?
Hath he not made God's festivals a false
And fraudful pretext for his deeds of
Yea, on the day of the Unleaven'd Bread,
Even in the garb and with the speech of
Went he not up into the very Temple ?
And there before the Veil, even in the
Of th' Holy of Holies, did he not break
With armed and infiiriate violence ?
Then did the pavement, which was never
But with the. guiltless blood of
Reek with the indelible and
Of human carnage. Yea, with impious steel
He slew the brethren that were kneeling
At the same altar, uttering the same
(Speak, Eleazar, was't not so ? thou
Affirm, nor canst deny thine own
And since that cursed hour of guilty
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 75
There hath he held the palace of his
lusts, Turning God's Temple to a grove of Belial: Even till
men wonder that the pillars start not From their fix'd
sockets ; that the offended roof Fall not at once, and crush
in his own shame/ The blasphemous invader. Yea, not yet, I
have not fathom'd yet his depth of sin. His common banquet
is the Bread of Offering, The vessels of the altar are the
cups From which he drains his riotous drunkenness. The
incense, that was wont to rise to heaven Pure as an infant's
breath, now foully stagnates Within the pestilent haunts of
his lasciviousness. Can these things be, and yet our
favour'd arms Be clad with victory ? Can the Lord of Israel
For us, the scanty remnant of his worshippers, Neglect to
vindicate his tainted shrine, His sanctuary profaned, his
outraged Laws ? JOHN.
Methinks, if Simon had but fought to-day
76 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
As valiantly as Simon speaks, the foe Had
never seen to-morrow's onset SIMON.
Yet I demand
your audience - JEWS.
Hear him ! hear The righteous Simon !
Men of Israel !
Why stand ye thus in wonder ? where the
root Is hollow, can the tree be sound ? Man's deeds Are as
man's doctrines ; and who hopes for ought But wantonness and
foul iniquity From that blaspheming and heretical sect, The
serpent spawn of Sadoc, that corrupt The Law of Moses and
disdain the Prophets ? That grossly do defraud the eternal
soul Of its immortal heritage, and doom it To rot for ever
with its kindred clay
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
In the grave's deep unbroken
prison-house? Yea, they dispeople with their infidel creed
Heaven of its holy Angels ; laugh to scorn That secret band
of ministering Spirits ; That therefore, in then*
indignation, stand . Aloof, and gaze upon our gathering ruin
With a contemptuous and pitiless scorn. They that were wont
to range around our towers Their sunlight-wing'd battalia,
and to war Upon our part with adamantine arms.
Oh ! impotent
and miserable arguer ! Will he that values not the stake as
boldly Confront the peril as the man that feels His all upon
the hazard ? Men of Galilee, The cup of life hath sparkled
to our lips, And we have drain'd its tide of love, and joy,
Till our veins almost burst with b'erwrought rapture. And
well we know that generous cup, once dash'd, Shall never
mantle more to the cold lipg
78 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Of the earth-bound dead. And therefore do
For life as for a mistress, that being
Is lost for ever. To be what we are
Is all we hope or pray for ; think ye,
That we shall tamely yield the contest
And calmly acquiesce in our extinction ?
We know that there stands yawning at our
The gulf, where dark Annihilation dwells
With Solitude, her sister ; and we^ fix
footing on the perilous verge,
And grapple to the last with the fierce
That seeks to plunge us down ; and
where's the strength
That can subdue despair ?H For the other
We look not, Simon, to the sky, nor pray
For sightless and impalpable messengers
To spare us the proud peril of the war.
Ourselves are our own Angels ! we implore
Or supernatural or spiritual aid ;
We have our own good arms, that God hath
And valiant hearts to wield those mighty
FALL OF JERUSALEM, 79
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
acknowledged Prince of Murderers !
Captain Assassin ! Lord and Chief of
That pourest blood like water, yet dost
That thou canst wash the foul and scarlet
From thy polluted soul, as easily
As from thy dainty ever-dabbling hands,
That wouldst appease with rite and
And festival, and slavish ceremony,
And prayers that weary even the stones
thou kneel'st on,
The God whose image hourly thou effacest
With mangling and remorseless steel !
That graves ate silent, and that dead
Assert not the proud privilege thou
wouldst give them ;
80 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
For if they did, Heaven's vaults would
ring so loudly With imprecations 'gainst the righteous
Simon, That they would pluck by force a plague upon us, To
which the Roman, and the wasting famine, Were soft and
healing mercies. . SIMON.
Liar and slave !
is no rich libation to the All-Just So welcome as the blood
And traitors: -
(apart.} Oh ! I dare not listen longer ! .
The big drops stand upon his brow ; his
. Is faint and fails, and there's no food
The night is dark I'll go once more, or
What, John of
Galilee ! because my voice
Is hoarse with speaking of thy crimes,
And wag thy head at me, and answer
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 81
Ntw, if thy veins run not pure gall, I'll
broach Their tide, and prove if all my creed be false ; If
traitors' reeking blood smell not to heaven Like a sw;eet
Why, ay ! the
Is bound to th' horns of th' altar !
Strike, I say,
He waits thee Strike !
Chiefs of Israel!
Just Simon ! valiant John ! once more I
dare To cast myself between you, the High-Priest, Who by his
holy office calls on you To throw aside your trivial private
wrongs, And vindicate offence more .rank and monstrous.
Avenge your God ! and then avenge yourselves ! The Temple is
polluted Israel's Lord Mock'd in his presence. Prayers even
thence have risen, Prayers from the jealous holy Sanctuary,
Even to the Crucified Man our fathers slew.
82 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
! the Man of Nazareth !
morn, as wont, our maidens had gone up
To chant their suppliant hymn ; and they
The song that Israel on the Red Sea shore
Took up triumphant ; and they clos'd the
That, like th' Egyptian and his car-borne
The billows of Heaven's wrath might
The Gentile foe, and so preserve
When at the close and fall a single voice
Linger'd upon the note, with, " Be it
" Through Jesus Christ, thine only Soft."
My spirit shrank within me ;
I listen'd ; all was silence ! Then again
I look'd upon the veiled damsels, all
With one accord took up the swelling
To him that triumph'd gloriously. I
To the Ark and Mercy Seat, and then again
I heard that single, soft, melodious
FALL OP JERUSALEM. 83
. . " Lord of Mercies be it done,
" Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son."
Here, then, assembled Lords of Israel, Whoever be the
victim, I demand her ; Your wisdom must detect, jour justice
wreak Fit punishment upon the accursed sacrilege.
Miriam! Miriam! Ha! She's fled. Guilt! Guilt Prophetic of
the damning accusation It doth deserve ! Apostate ! 'twere a
sin Against Jerusalem and Heaven to spare thee !
commend you, brethren, for your silence ! I see the
abhorrence labouring in your hearts, Too deep and too
infuriate for words.
Now, if it were
my child, my Sarah's child, The child that she died
blessing, I'd not sleep
Till the stones crush her. Yea, thus,
thus I'd grasp,
84 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
And hurl destruction
on her guilty head.
Here, John, I pledge mine hand to thee,
Seize on the false and insolent
(SALONE, half unveiled, rushing forward,
stops irresolutely.) Their eyes oppress me my heart chokes
And my lips cling together >Oh ! my
Upon thy death-bed didst thou not beseech
us To love each other !
maid, what art thou ?
Off! off! the
blood of Abraham swells within me As I cast down my veil, I
cast away All fear, all tenderness, all fond remorse. It is
(too good a death for one so guilty To perish for Jerusalem
[_She stands unveiled. SIMON.
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
The admired daughter of the noble Simon !
VOICE AT A DISTANCE.
this, that speaks . With such a shrilling accent of command
VOICE. Israel! Israel!
Back ! give place ! the Prophet ! ABIRAM
(the false prophet.) Israel! Israel!
Ay ! peace, I
The wounds are bound ; the blood is
stanch'd! and hate Is turn'd to love ! and rancorous
jealousy To kindred concord ! and the clashing swords
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
To bridal sounds! the
fury of the feud To revel and the jocund nuptial feast.
means Abiram ?
It is from on
High. Brave Amariah, son of John 1 Salone, Daughter of Simon
! thus I join their hands ; And thus I bless the wedded^nd
the beautiful ! And thus I bind the Captains of Jerusalem In
the strong bonds of unity and peace.
And wherens now the wine for the
bridegroom's rosy cup?
And the tabret and the harp for the
chamber of the bride ?
Lo ! bright as burnish'd gold the lamps
are sparkling up,
And the odours of the incense are
breathing far and
And the maidens' feet are glancing in the
4t wedding train ;
the sad streets of Salem are alive with joy again !
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 7
Long live Salone ! Long live Amariah !
Am I awake ? how came I here unveil'd
Among the bold and glaring eyes of men ?
THE JEWS. Long live Salone ! Long live
He speaks from
Heaven accept'st thou, John of Galilee, Heaven's terms" of
From earth or
heaven, I care not What says my boy ?
Oh ! rather
let me ask,
What says the maid ? Oh ! raven-hair'd
Salone, Why dost thou crowd thy jealous veil around thee?
Look on me freely ; beauteous in thy freedom ;
As when this morn I saw thee, on our
Thy hair cast back,
and bare thy marble brow
88 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
To the bright wooing of the enamour'd sun
: They were my banner, Beauty, those dark locks ; And in the
battle 'twas my pride, my strength, To think that eyes like
thine were gazing on me.
Oh no, thou
saw'st me not ! Oh, Amariah ! What Prophets speak must be
fulfill'd. 'Twere vain T' oppose at once the will of Heaven
. tf OHN.
there be enough of generous food, A cup of wine in all the
wasted city, We'll have a jocund revel.
I have a question for thy secret ear.
Thou man, whose eyes are purged from earthly film, Seest
thou no further down the tide of time Beyond this bridal
nothing ? Answer me ! For it should seem this designated
union Of two so noble, this conspiring blood
FALL OF JERUSALEM. S9
Of Israel's chiefs, portends some
glorious fruit To ripen in the deep futurity. ABIRAM.
Simon, what meanest thou ?
The Hope of Israel !
Shall it not dawn from darkness ? Oh ! begot In Judah's hour
of peril, and conceived In her extreme of agony, what birth
So meet and fitting for the t great Discomfiter?
ABIRAM. A light falls on me.
Prophet ! what
shall dye The robe of purple with so bright a grain As Roman
blood ? Before our gates are met The lords of empire, and
our walls may laugh Their siege to scorn, even till the
BRANCH be grown That's not yet planted Yea, the wrested
sceptre Of earth, the sole dominion Back, Abiram,
90 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
To thy prophetic cave kneel, pray, fast,
weep; And thou shalt bless us with far nobler tidings, And
we will kiss thy feet, thou Harbinger .
Of Judah's glory
lead on the Bridal. Blow trumpets 1 shout, exulting Israel !
Shout Amariah ! shout again Salone ! Shout louder yet, the
Bridegroom and the Bride ! Rejoice, oh Zion, now on all thy
hills ! City of David, through thy streets rejoice !
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 91
Fountain ofSiloe Night
An approaching Storm.
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. He might have known me, not a maid to love
Under the melting moonlight, and soft stars, And to fall off
in darkness and in storm. Ah ! seal'd for ever be my
slanderous lips ! Alas ! it is the bitterest pang of misery
That it will force from us unworthy doubts Of the most tried
and true. Oh, Javan, Javan ! It was but now that with
presumptuous heart I did repine against the all-gracious
heavens, That wrapt me round in charitable darkness, Because
my erring feet had well-nigh miss'd Their known familiar
92 FALL Ot^JERUSALEM.
What's there ?
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 That haunts her motions ;
by her tread, that falls Trembling and soft like moonlight
on the earth. What dost thou here ? now now? where every
moment The soldiers prowl, and meeting centinels Challenge
each other? I have watch'd for thee
As prisoners for the hour of then*
* % Yet did I pray, love ! that thpu
might'st not come,
Even that thou might'st be faithless to
thy vows, Rather than meet this peril - Miriam, Why art thou
MIRIAM. Does Javan ask me why ?
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 93
Because I saw my father pine with hunger
Because 1 never hope to come again.
Too true ! this
night, this fatal night, if Heaven Strike not their
conquering host, the foe achieves His tardy victory. Round
the shatter'd walls There is the smother'd hum of
preparation. With stealthy footsteps, and with muffled arms,
Along the trenches, round the lowering engines, I saw them
gathering : men stood whispering men, As though revealing
some portentous secret ; At every sound cried, Hist! and
look'd reproachfully Upon each other. Now and then a light
From some far part of the encircling camp
out, and then is quench'd as suddenly.
The forced unnatural quiet, that pervades
Those myriads of arm'd and sleepless
Presages earthly tempest ; as yon clouds,
That in their mute and ponderous
94 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Over our heads, a tumult in the skies The earth and heaven
alike are teTribly calm.
Alas ! alas !
give me the food ! let's say Farewell as fondly as a dying
man Should s% it to a dying woman !
It shall not be. He, He hath given
command, That when the signs are manifest, we should flee
Unto the mountains *.
My soul is weak. Hast thou not said of
old, How dangerous 'tis to wrest the words of truth To the
excusing our own fond desires ? There's an eternal mandate,
unrepeal'd, Nor e'er to be rescinded, " Love thy Father!"
God speaks with many voices ; one in the heart, * Matt.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 95
True though instinctive ; one in the Holy
Law, The first that's coupled with a gracious promise.
* Yet are his
words, " Leave all, and follow me, " Thou shalt not love thy
father more than me" * Dar'st disobey them ?
Javan, while I
The path of duty I am following him,
. And loving whom I ought to love, love
couldst save or succour rif this night Were not the last
.* ,'. , MIRIAM.
Oh, dearest, think awhile ! It matters
little at what hour o' the day The righteous falls asleep,
death cannot come To him untimely who is fit to die : The
less of this cold world, the more of heaven, * Matt x. 7.
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
The briefer life, the
earlier immortality. But every moment to the man of guilt
And bloodshed, one like ah me ! like my
Each instant rescued from the grasp of
May be a blessed chosen opportunity
For the everlasting mercy Think what 'tis
For time's minutest period to delay
. ^ *
death, a murderer's
Go ! go,
dearest ! ^
If I were dying, I would have thee go
Oh ! thou inspher'd, unearthly loveliness
Danger may gather round thee, like the
clouds Round one of heaven's pure stars, thou'lt hold within
Thy course unsullied.
This is worse
than all !
Oh ! mo.ck not thus with wild extravagant
praise A very weak and most unworthy girl. Javan, one last,
one parting word with thee
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 97
There have been times,
when I have said light words, As maidens use, that made thy
kind heart bleed ; There have been moments, when I have seen
thee sad, And I have cruelly sported with thy sadness : I
have been proud, oh ! very proud, to hear Thy fond lips
dwell on beauty, when thine eyes Were on this thin and
wasted form of mine. Forgive me, oh ! forgive me, for I
deem'd The hour would surely come, when the fond bride Might
well repay the maiden's waywardness. Oh.! look not thus
o'erjoy'd, for if I thought We e'er could meet again this
side the grave, Trust me, I had been charier of my
tenderness, j Yet one word more I do mistrust thee, Javan,
Though coldly thou dost labour to conceal it ; Thou hast
some frantic scheme to risk for mine Thy precious life
Beseech thee, heap not thou
More sorrows on the o'erburthen'd.
Think'st thou, then, H
98 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
I have no trust but in this arm of flesh
To save thee ?
Oh, kind Javan
! pray not thou That I may live, that is too wild a prayer ;
That I may die unspotted, be thy suit To Him who loves the
Ha the thought ! It pierces like a sword
into my heart !
thou mine unwounded ? Fare thee well ! Our presence does but
rack each other's souls. Farewell ! and if thou lovest when
I am dead, May she be to thee, all I hoped to be.
JAVAN. Go go
Thou bidst me part, and yet detain'st me
With clinging grasp ah no, 'tis I clasp thee.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 99
I knew not that my fond unconscious hand
Had been so bold Oh, Javan ! ere the morn
'T will have no power t' offend thee 't
will be cold. |
Offend me !
Miriam, when thou'rt above Among the Saints, and I in the
sinful world, How terrible 'twill be if I should forfeit The
hope of meeting thee hi blessedness.
faith like thine? JAVAN.
Thou well rebukest me. To thy Redeemer I
commit thee now, To leave thee here, or take thee to
himself. Farewell, farewell ! the life of this sad heart,
Dearer than life 1 look for thee, and lo
Nought but blind darkness
Save where yon mad city, As though at
peace and in luxurious joy, Is hanging out her bright and
100 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
There have been tears from holier eyes
than mine Pour'd o'er thee, Zion ! yea, the Son of Man This
thy devoted hour foresaw and wept. And I can I refrain from
weeping ? Yes, My country, in thy darker destiny Will I
awhile forget mine own distress.
I feel it now, the sad, the coming hour ;
The signs are full,
and never shall the sun Shine on the cedar roofs of Salem
Her tale of splendor now is told and
done: Her, wine-cup of festivity is spilt, And all is o'er,
her grandeur and her guilt.
Oh ! fair and favour'd city, where of old
The balmy airs were rich with melody, That led her pomp
beneath the cloudless sky
In vestments flaming with the orient gold
Her gold is dim, and mute her music's
The Heathen o'er her perish'd pomp
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 101
How stately then was every palm-deck'd
street, Down which, the maidens danced with tinkling feet ;
How proud the elders in the lofty gate !
How crowded all her nation's solemn feasts With white-rob'd
Levites and high-mitred Priests ;
How gorgeous all her Temple's sacred
state! Her streets are razed, her maidens sold for slaves,
Her gates thrown down, her elders in their graves; Her
feasts age holden 'mid the Gentile's scorn, By stealth her
Priesthood's holy garments worn ; And where her Temple
crown'd the glittering rock, The wandering shepherd folds
his evening flock.
. . When shall the work, the work of
death begin ?
When come th' avengers of proud Judah's
sin ? Aceldama ! accurs'd and guilty ground, Gird well the
city in thy dismal bound,
Her price is paid, and she is sold like
thou ; Let every ancient monument and tomb Enlarge the
border of its vaulted gloom,
Their spacious chambers all are wanted
102 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
j But nevermore shall yon lost city need
Those secret places for her future dead ;
Of all her children, when this night is pass'd, Devoted
Salem's darkest, and her last, Of all her children none -is
left to her,
Save those whose house is in the
Yet, guilty city, who
shall mourn for thee ?
Shall Christian voices wail thy
devastation ? Look down ! look down, avenged Calvary,
Upon thy late yet dreadful expiation. Oh
! long foretold, though slow accomplish'd fate, " Her house
is left unto her desolate ;" Proud Caesar's ploughshare o r
er her ruins driven, Fulfils at length the tardy doom of
heaven ; The wrathful vial's drops at length are pour'd On
the rebellious race that crucified their Lord !
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 103
Streets of Jerusalem
Many JEWS meeting.
Saw ye it, father ? saw ye what the city
Stands gazing at ? As I pass'd through
There were pale womeji wandering up and
And on the house-tops there were haggard
Turn'd to the heavens, where'er the
Fell on them. Even the prowling
That break our houses for suspected food,
Their quick and stealthful footsteps
check, and gasp
In wonder. They, that in deep weariness,
Or wounded in the battle of the morn,
Had cast themselves to slumber on the
Lift up their drowsy heads, and languidly
Do shudder at the sight.
104- FALL OF
? what say'st t^ou ?
FIEST JEW. .
the star, the fiery-tressed star,
That all this fatal year hath hung in the
Above us, gleaming like a bloody sword,
Twice hath it moved. Men cried aloud, " A
And there was blackness, as of thunder
But yet that angry sign glared fiercely
And the third time, with slow and solemn
'Twas shaken and brandish'd.
boy ! thou speak'st As though these things were strange. Why
With prodigies ablaze in all the heavens,
And the earth
teeming with portentous signs, As sound as when the moon and
constant stars Beam'd quietly upon the slumbering earth
Their customary fires." Dost thou remember, At Pentecost,
when all the land of Judah
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 105
Stood round the Altar, at the dead of
night, A Light broke out, and all the Temple shone With the
meteorous glory? 'twas not like The light of sun or moon,
but it was clear And bright as either, only that it wither'd
Men's faces to a hue like death.
And, if I err not, on that very day, The
Priest led forth the spotless sacrifice, And as he led it,
it fell down, and cast Its young upon the sacred pavement.
Have ye forgot the eve, when war broke
out Even in the heavens ? all the wide northern sky Was
rocking with arm'd men and fiery chariots. With an abrupt
and sudden noiselessness, Wildly, confusedly they cross'd
and mingled, As when the Red Sea waves dash'd to and fro The
crazed cars of Pharaoh
106 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
here In his white robes so hastily ?
Levite, The Holy Aaron.
LEVITE. Brethren ! Oh, my Brethren !
THE JEWS. Speak, Rabbi, all our souls
thirst for thy words.
But now within
the Temple, as I minister'd, There was a silence round us ;
the wild sounds Of the o'erwearied war had fallen asleep. A
silence, even as though all earth were fix'd Like us in
adoration, when the gate, The Eastern gate, with all its
ponderous bars And bolts of iron, started wide asunder, And
all the strength of man doth vainly toil To close the
stubborn and rebellious leaves.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 107
What now ?
What now ! why all things sad and
monstrous. The Prophets stand aghast, and vainly seek, Amid
the thronging and tumultuous signs Which crowd this wild
disastrous night, the intent Of the Eternal. Wonder breaks
o'er wonder, As the clouds roll o'er each other in the skies
; And Terror, wantoning with man's perplexity, No sooner
hath infix'd the awed attention On some strange prodigy,
than it straight distracts it To a stranger and more
fearful. THIRD JEW.
Hark! what's there? Fresh horror !
(At a distance.) To the sound of timbrels
sweet, Moving slow our solemn feet,
108 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
We have borne thee on the road, To the
virgin's blest abode ; With thy yellow torches gleaming, And
thy scarlet mantle streaming, And the canopy above Swaying
as we slowly move.
Thou hast left the joyous feast, And the
mirth and wine have ceast ; And now we set thee down before
The jealously-unclosing door ; That the favour'd youth
admits Where the veiled virgin sits In the bliss of maiden
fear, Waiting our soft tread to hear ; And the. music's
brisker din, At the bridegroom's entering in, Entering in a
welcome guest To the chamber of his rest.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 109
It is the
bridal song of Amariah
And fair Salone. In the house of Simon
The rites are held ; nor bears the
His plighted Spouse, but there doth deck
.his chamber ;
These perilous tunes dispensing with the
Of ancient usage
Woe ! woe 1 woe !
Alas! The son of Hananiah ! is't not he ?
THIRD JEW. Whom said'st ?
Art thou a
stranger in Jerusalem, That thou rememberest not that
fearful man ?
speak ! we know not all.
. Why thus
it was :
110 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
A rude and homely dresser of the vine,
He had come up to the Feast of
When suddenly a spirit fell upon him,
Evil or good we know not. Ever since,
(And now seven years are past since it
Our city then being prosperous and at
He hath gone wandering through the
At midnight under the cold quiet stars;
He hath gone wandering through the
At noonday under the bright blazing sun,
With that one ominous cry of " Woe, woe,
Some scofFd and mock'd him, some would
give him food ;
He neither curs'd the one, nor thank'd
The Sanhedrim bade scourge him, and
Beheld him lash'd, till the bare bones
Through the maim'd flesh, still, still he
Woe to the City, till his patience
The angry persecutors. When they freed
'Twas still the same, the incessant Woe,
But when our siege began, awhile he
FALL OF JERUSALEM. Ill
As though his prophecy were fulfill'd ;
till now We had not heard his dire and boding voice.
WITHIN. Woe ! woe ! woe !
JOSHUA, the Son of Hananiah. Woe ! woe !
A voice from the East ! a voice from the
From the four winds a voice against
A voice against the Temple of the Lord !
A voice against the Bridegrooms and the
A voice against all people of the land !
Woe ! woe ! woe !
They are the very words, the very voice
Which we have heard so long. And yet,
There is a mournful triumph in the rone
Ne'er heard before. His eyes, that were
Fix'd on the earth, now wander all
As though the tardy consummation
Afflicted him with wonder Hark ! again.
112 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
CHORUS OF MAIDENS.
the jocund song is thine, Bride of David's kingly line ! How
thy dove-like bosom trembleth, And thy shrouded eye
resembleth Violets, when the dews of eve A moist and
tremulous glitter leave On the bashful sealed lid ! Close
within the bride-veil hid, Motionless thou sit'st and mute ;
Save that at the soft salute Of each entering maiden friend
Thou dost rise and softly bend.
Hark! a brisker, merrier glee !
The door unfolds; 'tis he, 'tis he.
Thus we lift our lamps to meet him, Thus
we touch our lutes to greet him. Thou shalt give a fonder
meeting, Thou shalt give a tenderer greeting.
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Woe ! woe !
A voice from the East ! a voice from the
From the four winds a voice against
A voice against the Temple of the Lord !
A voice against the Bridegrooms and the
A voice against all people of the land !
Woe ! woe [Bursts away, followed by
W . ' :
Didst speak ?
on us as he spake? FIRST JEW (to the Second returning.) Thou
follow'dst him ! what now ? SECOND JEW.
'Twas a True Prophet !
Where went he ?
114 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
outer wall ;
And there he suddenly cried out and
sternly, " A voice against the son of Hananiah ! " Woe, woe
!" and at the instant, whether struck By a chance stone from
the enemy's engines, down
He sank and died !
There's some one comes this way Art sure
he died indeed ?
It is the
The ephod gleams through the pale
lowering night ; The Lreastplate gems, and the pure
mitre-gold, Shine lamplike, and the bells that fringe his
robe Chime faintly.
hear ! I do beseech you, Brethren, give ear !
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 115
that will not hear The words of God's High-Priest ?
I sate within the Temple, in the court
That's consecrate to mine office Your
JEWS. Go on !
Why hearken, then Upon a sudden The
pavement seem'd to swell beneath my feet, And the Veil
shiver'd, and the pillars rock'd. And there, within the very
Holy of Holies, There, from behind the winged Cherubim,
Where the Ark .stood, noise, hurried and tumultuous, Was
heard, as when a king with all his host Doth quit his
palace. And anon, a voice, Or voices, half in grief, half
anger, yet Nor human grief nor anger, even it seem'd
116 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
As though the hoarse and rolling thunder
spake With the articulate voice of man, it said, " LET us
Most terrible !
What follow'd ? Speak on ! speak on !
not why, I felt
As though an outcast from the abandon'd
Temple, And fled.
Oh God ! and
Father of our Fathers, Dost thou desert us ?
CHORUS OF YOUTHS AND MAIDENS.
Under a happy planet art thou led, Oh,
chosen Virgin ! to thy bridal bed. So put thou off thy soft
and bashful sadness,
And wipe away the timid maiden tear, Lo !
redolent with the Prophet's oil of gladness,
And mark'd by heaven, the Bridegroom
Youth is here.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 117
Hark hark !
an armed tread !
Ben Cathla !
Ay, ye are
met, all met, as in a mart,
T' exchange against each other your dark
Of this night's fearful prodigies. I know
By the inquisitive and half-suspicious
With which ye eye each other, ye do wish
To disbelieve all ye have heard, and yet
Ye dare not. If ye have seen the moon
And the stars fall ; if the pale sheeted
Have met you wandering, and have pointed
With ominous designation ; yet I scoff
Your poor and trivial terrors Know ye
The noble lady, she whose fathers Dwelt
118 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Yes, we know her,
The tender and the delicate of women,
That would not set her foot upon the ground For delicacy and
The same !
We had gone forth in quest of food : And we had enter'd many
a house, where men Were preying upon meagre herbs and skins
; And some were sating upon loathsome things Unutterable,
the ravening hunger. Some, Whom we had plunder'd oft,
laugh'd in their agony To see us baffled. At her door she
met us, And " We have feasted together heretofore," She
said, " most welcome warriors !" and she led us, And bade us
sit like dear and honour'd guests,
While she made ready. Some among us
wonder'd, .' And some spake jeeringly, and thank'd the lady
That she had thus with provident care
reserved The choicest banquet for our scarcest days.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 119
But ever as she busily minister'd, Quick,
sudden sobs of laughter broke from her. At length the
vessel's covering she rais'd up, And there it lay
What lay ? Thou'rt
sick and pale.
and heaven, the remnant of a child !
A human child ! Ay, start ! so started we
Whereat she shriek'd aloud, and clapp'd
" Oh ! dainty and fastidious appetites !
" The mother feasts upon her babe, and
" Loathe the repast" and then " My
beautiful child !
" The treasure of my womb ! my bosom's
And then in her cool madness did she
Out of her doors. Oh still oh still I
And I shall hear her till my day of
God of Mercies ! this was once thy city !
120 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Joy to thee,
beautiM and bashful Bride !
Joy ! for the thrills of pride and joy
become thee ;
Thy curse of barrenness is taken from
thee. And thou shalt see the rosy infant sleeping
Upon the snowy fountain of thy breast ;
m And thou shalt feel how mothers' hearts
By hours of bliss for moment's pain and
weeping. Joy to thee !
The above, SIMON,
Away ! what do ye in our midnight streets
? Go sleep ! go sleep ! or we shall have to lash you, When
the horn summons to the morning's war, From out your drowsy
beds Away ! I say.
thou know'st not the dark signs abroad.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 121
Ay ! is't not fearful and most ominous
That the sun shines not at deep midnight.
Ye men with gasping lips and shivering
Thou mitred priest, and ye misnamed
If ye infect with your pale aguish fears
Our valiant city, we'll nor leave you
To shake, nor voices to complain T' your
In truth, good Simon, I am half your
proselyte ; Your angels, that do bear such excellent wine,
Might shake a faith more firm than ours. SIMON.
My soul is
jocund. Expectation soars Before mine eyes, like to a
new-fledg'd eagle, And stoopeth from her heavens with palms
122 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
By brows of Israel. Glory mounts with
her, Her deep seraphic trumpet swelling loud O'er Zion's
Why, then, to
This fight by day, and revel all the
night, Needs some repose I'll to my bed Farewell !
farewell ! and I'll to rest, and dream Upon the coming
honours of to-morrow.
To-morrow ! will that morrow dawn upon
thee ? I've warn'd them, I have lifted up my voice As loud
as 'twere an angel's, and well nigh Had I betray 'd my
secret : they but scoff 'd, And ask'd how long I had been a
prophetess ? But that injurious John did foully taunt me,
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 123
As though I envied my lost sister's
bridal. And when I clung to my dear father's neck, With the
close fondness of a last embrace, He shook me from him.
But, ah me ! how strange ! This moment,
and the hurrying streets were full As at a festival, now
all's so silent That I might hear the footsteps of a child.
The sound of dissolute mirth hath ceased, the lamps Are
spent, the voice of music broken off. No watchman's tread
comes from the silent wall, There are nor lights nor voices
in the towers. The hungry have given up then* idle search
For food, the gazers on the heavens are gone, , . Even fear
's at rest all still as in a sepulchre ! And thou liest
sleeping, oh Jerusalem ! A deeper slumber could not fall
upon thee, If thou wert desolate of all thy children, And
thy razed streets a dwelling-place for owls. I do mistake !
this is the Wilderness,
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
The Desert, where winds pass and make no
And not the populous city, the besieged
And overhung with tempest. Why, my voice,
My motion, breaks upon the oppressive
Like a forbidden and disturbing sound.
The very air 's asleep, my feeblest
Is audible I'll think my prayers and then
Ha ! 'tis the thunder of the Living God !
It peals ! it crashes ! it comes down in
fire ! Again ! it is the engine of the foe,
Our walls are dust before it Wake oh wake
Oh Israel ! Oh Jerusalem, awake ! Why
shouldst thou wake ? thy foe is in the heavens. Yea, thy
judicial slumber weighs thee down, And gives thee, oh ! lost
city, to the Gentile Defenceless, unresisting.
It rolls down,
As though the Everlasting raged not now
Against our guilty Zion, but did mingle The universal world
in our destruction ;
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 125
And all mankind were
destined for a sacrifice
On Israel's funeral pile. Oh Crucified !
Here, here, where thou didst suffer, I
beseech thee Even by thy Cross !
Hark ! now in impious rivalry Man
thunders. In the centre of our streets The Gentile trumpet,
the triumphant shouts Of onset ; and I, I, a trembling girl,
Alone, awake, abroad.
Oh, now ye wake,
ye pour forth, and hideous Massacre, Loathing his bloodless
conquest, joys to see you Thus naked and unarm'd But where's
my father ? Upon his couch in dreams of future glory. Oh !
where's my sister ? in her bridal bed.
126 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Temple ! To the Temple ! Israel ! Israel ! Your walls are on
the earth, your houses burn Like fires amid the autumnal
olive grounds. The Gentile 's hi the courts of the Lord's
house. To the Temple ! save or perish with the Temple !
Temple ! haste, oh all ye circumcised ! Stay not for wife or
child, for gold or treasure ! Pause not for light ! the
heavens are all on fire, The Universal City burns !
Our women fall like doves into the nets
Of the fowler, and they dash upon the stones Our innocent
babes. Arms ! Arms ! before we die
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 127
Let's reap a bloody harvest of revenge.
To the Temple !
lo, the valiant Simon. The above, SIMON.
He comes ! he
comes ! the black night blackens with him, And the winds
groan beneath his chariot wheels He comes from heaven, the
Avenger of Jerusalem ! Ay, strike, proud Roman ! fall, thou
useless wall ! And vail your heads, ye towers, that have
discharg'd Your brief, your fruitless duty of resistance.
I've heard thee long, fierce Gentile ! th' earthquake shocks
Of thy huge engines smote upon my soul, And my soul scorn'd
them. Oh ! and hear'st not thou One mightier than thyself,
that shakes the heavens ? Oh pardon, that I thought that He,
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Is promised and reveal'd, would calmly
wait The tardy throes of human birth. Messiah,
I know thee now, I know yon lightning
* ' Thy robe of glory, and thy steps in
I had brought mine arms, ^ Mine earthly arms, my breastplate
and my sword, To cover and defend me Oh ! but thou Art
jealous, nor endur'st that human arm Intrude on thy
deliverance. I forswear them, I cast them from me. Helmless,
with nor shield Nor sword, I stand, and in my nakedness
Wait thee, victorious Roman
To the Temple !
Ay, well thou
say'st, " to the Temple" there 'twill be Most visible. In
his own house the Lord Will shine most glorious. Shall we
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 129
The Fathers bursting
from their yielding graves, Patriarchs and Priests, and
Kings and Prophets, met A host of spectral watchmen, on the
towers Of Zion to behold the full accomplishing Of every
Type and deep Prophetic word ?
Ay, to the Temple ! thither will I too,
There bask in all the fulness of the day That breaks at
length o'er the long night of Judah.
Chortts of Jews flying
towards the Temple.
Fly! fly! %!
Clouds, not of incense, from the Temple
rise, And there are altar-fires, but not of sacrifice.
And there are victims, yet nor bulls nor
goats ; And Priests are there, but not of Aaron's kin ; And
he that doth the murtherous rite begin,
To stranger Gods his hecatomb devotes ;
130 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
His hecatomb of Israel's chosen race All
foully slaughtered in their Holy Place.
t Break into joy, ye barren, that ne'er
Rejoice, ye breasts, where ne'er sweet
infant hung !
From you, from you no smiling babes are
wrung, Ye die, but not amid your children's gore. But howl
and weep, oh ye that are with child,
Ye on whose bosoms unwean'd babes are
laid ; The sword that's with the mother's blood defiled
Still with the infant gluts the insatiate
Fly! fly! fly! Fly not, I say, for Death
is every where,
To keen-eyed Lust all places are the same
: There's not a secret chamber in whose lair
Our wives can shroud them from th'
abhorred shame. Where the sword fails, the fire will find us
All, all is death the Gentile or the
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 131
On to the Temple ! Brethren, Israel on !
Though every slippery street with carnage
swims, Ho ! spite of famish'd hearts and wounded limbs,
Still, still, while yet there stands one
holy stone, Fight for your God, his sacred house to save, Or
have its blazing ruins for your grave !
132 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
The Streets of
Thou hard firm
earth, thou wilt not break before me, And hide me in thy
dark and secret bosom ! Ye burning towers, ye fall upon your
children With a compassionate ruin not on me Ye spare me
only, I alone am mark'd And seal'd for life : death cruelly
seems to shun me, Me, who am readiest and most wish to die.
Oh ! I have sat me by the ghastly slain In envy of then*
state, and wept a prayer That I were cold like them, and
safe from th' hands Of the remorseless conqueror. I have
fled, And fled, and fled, and still I fly the nearer To the
howling ravagers they are every where. I've closed mine
eyes, and rush'd I know not whither, And still are swords
and men and furious faces Before me, and behind me, and
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 133
But ah ! the shrieks that come from out
the dwellings Of my youth's loved companions every where I
hear some dear and most familiar voice In its despairing
frantic agonies. Ah me ! that I were struck with leprosy,
That sinful men might loathe me, and pass on.
And I might now have been by that sweet
fountain Where the winds whisper through the moonlight
leaves, I might have been with Javan there Off, off These
are not thoughts for one about to die
Oh, Lord and Saviour Christ ! f
An OLD MAN, MIRIAM.
Who spake of Christ ?
What hath that name to do with saving
here ? He 's here, he 's here, the Lord of desolation,
Begirt with vengeance ! in the fire above, And fire below !
in all the blazing city Behold him manifest !
134 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Oh ! aged man
And miserable, on the verge of the grave
Thus lingering to behold thy country's ruin, What know'st
thou of the Christ ?
I, I beheld
The Man of Nazareth whom thou mean'st I
saw him When he went labouring up the accursed hill. Heavily
on his scourged and bleeding shoulders Press'd the rough
cross, and from his crowned brow (Crown'd with no kingly
diadem) the pale blood Was shaken off, as with a patient
pity He look'd on us, the infuriate multitude.
MIRIAM. Didst thou not fall and worship ?
I had call'd
The curse upon my head, my voice had
cried Unto the Roman, " On us be his blood,
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 135
" And on our children !" and on us it
hath been My children and my children's children, all, The
Gentile sword hath reap'd them one by one, And I, the last
dry wither'd shock, await The gleaning of the slaughterer.
Couldst thou see The Cross, the Agony,
and still hard of heart ?
. OLD MAN.
I tell thee, ere the Cross was raised He look'd around him,
even in that last anguish, With such a majesty of calm
compassion, Such solemn adjuration to our souls But yet
'twas not reproachful, only sad As though our guilt had been
the bitterest pang Of suffering. And there dwelt about him
still, About his drooping head and fainting limb, A sense of
power ; as though he chose to die, Yet might have shaken off
the load of death
136 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Without an effort. Awful breathlessness
Spread round, too deep and too intense for tears.
MIRIAM. Thou didst believe ?
Away ! Men
glar'd upon me As though they did detect my guilty pity ;
Their voices roar'd around me like a tempest, And every
voice was howling, " Crucify him !" I dared not be alone the
apostate child Of Abraham
. Ah ! thou
didst not join the cry ?
Woman, I did,
and with a voice so audible Men turn'd to praise my zeal.
And when the darkness, The noonday darkness, fell upon the
earth, And the earth's self shook underneath my feet, I
stood before the Cross, and in my pride
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 137
Rejoiced that I had shaken from my soul
The soft compunction.
Ha ! but now,
oh ! now, Thou own'st him for the eternal Son of God, The
mock'd, and scourged, and crown'd, and crucified. Thou dost
believe the blazing evidence Of yon fierce flames ! thou
bow'st thyself before The solemn preacher, Desolation, That
now on Zion's guilty ruins seated Bears horrible witness.
believe them, I dare not disbelieve ; it is my curse, My
agony, that cleaves to me in death.
Oh ! not a
curse, it is a gracious blessing Believe, and thou shalt
138 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
What ! would'st them school these gray
hairs, and become Mine age's teacher ?
Hath not God
ordain'd Wisdom from babes and sucklings ? OLD MAN.
Back, I say ;
lived a faithful child of Abraham, And so will die.
For ever ! He
Yet he looks round, and shakes his hoary
head In dreadful execration 'gainst himself
And me 1 dare not follow him.
What's here ?
mine home, the dwelling of my youth, O'er which the flames
climb up with such fierce haste. Lo, lo ! they burst from
that house-top, where oft My sister and myself have sate and
sang Our pleasant airs of gladness ! Ah, Salone !
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 139
Where art thou now ? These, these are not
the lights That should be shining on a marriage-bed. Oh !
that I had been call'd to dress thy bier,
To pour sweet ointments on thy shrouded
7 * Rather than thus to weave thee bridal
To be so madly worn, so early wither'd !
Where art thou ? I dare only wish thee dead, Even as I wish
'Tis she, herself!
Thank God, she hath not perish'd in the flames ! 'Tis she
she's here she's here the unfaded crown Hanging from her
loose tresses, and her raiment
Only the bridal veil wrapt round her
Oh ! by my mother's blessings on us both,
Stay, stay and speak to me Salone ! SALONE.
'Tis all thy
bitter envy, that hath made The exquisite music cease, and
hath put out The gentle lamps, and with a jealous voice Hath
call'd him from me.
140 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
not, Salone, The city 's all on fire, the foe 's around us ?
The fire ! the
foe ! what's fire or foe to me ? What's ought but Amariah ?
He is mine, The eagle-eyed, the noble and the brave, The Man
of Men, the glory o7 our Zion, And ye have rent him from me.
I tell thee he
was mine, oh ! mine so fondly, And I was his I had begun to
dare The telling how I loved him and the night It was so
rapturously still around us When, even as though he heard a
voice, and yet There was no sound I heard, he sprung from me
Unto the chamber-door, and he look'd out Into the city
FALL OF JERUSALEM. HI
Well! Nay, let
Thy insufficient raiment Merciful Heaven,
Thy bosom bleeds ! What rash and
barbarous hand Hath
He came back
and kiss'd me, and he said I know not what he said but there
was something f Of Gentile ravisher, and his beauteous
bride, Me, me he meant, he call'd me beauteous bride, And he
stood o'er me with a sword so bright My dazzled eyes did
close. And presently, Methought, he smote me with the sword,
but then He fell upon my neck, and wept upon me, And I felt
nothing but his burning tears.
She faints !
Look up, sweet sister ! I have stanch'd The blood awhile but
her dim wandering eyes Are fixing she awakes she speaks
142 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Ah ! brides,
they say, should be retired, and dwell
Within in modest secrecy ; yet &ere
Am I, a this night's bride, in the open street,
My naked feet on the cold stones, the wind
Blowing my raiment off it's very cold
Oh, Amariah ! let me lay my head
Upon thy bosom, and so fall asleep.
There is no Amariah here 'tis I,
Oh ! that thou
too wert Christian ! I could give thee A cold and scanty
baptism of my tears. Oh ! shrink not from me, lift not up
thy head, Thy dying head, from thy loved sister's lap.
SALONE. Off! set me free ! the song is
FALL OF JERUSALEM.
The bridegroom's at the door, and I must
meet him, Though my knees shake and tremble. If he come, And
find me sad and cold, as I am now, He will not love me as he
Too true, Thou
growest cold indeed.
Night closes round, Slumber is on my
soul. If Amariah Return with morning, glorious and adorn'd
In spoil, as he is wont, thou'lt wake me, sister ?
Ah ! no, no, no ! this is no waking
It bursts upon me Yes, and Simon's daughter,
The bride of Amariah, may not fear,
Nor shrink from dying. My half-failing spirit
Comes back, my soft love-melted heart is strong :
I know it all, in mercy and in love
Thou 'st wounded me to death and I will bless thee,
True lover ! noble husband ! my last breath
Is thine in blessing Amariah ! Love !
144 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
And yet thou shouldst have staid to close
Oh Amariah ! and an hour ago
I was a happy bride upon thy bosom,
And now am Oh God, God ! if he have
And should come back again, and^find me
dead ! }
Oh, God of
mercies ! she is gone an infidel, An infidel unrepentant, to
thy presence, The partner of my cradle and my bed, My own,
my only sister ! Oh ! but thou, Lord, knowest that thou hast
not drawn her to thee, By making the fond passions of the
heart, Like mine, thy ministers of soft persuasion.
She hath not loved a Christian, hath not
From lips, whose very lightest breath is
Thy words of comfort.
I will cover her.
Thy bridal veil is now thy shroud, my
sister, And long thou wilt not be without a grave. Jerusalem
will bury all her children Ere many hours are past.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 145
There's some one comes
A Gentile soldier 'tis the same who oft
Hath crossed me, and I've fled and
'scap'd him. Now,
How can I fly, and whither ? Will the
Protect me 2 Ha ! whichever way I turn,
Are others fiercer and more terrible.
I'll speak to him, there's something in
Less hideous than the rest.
Oh ! noble warrior,
see not that thy sword is wet with blood : And thou didst
turn aside lest thou shouldst tread Upon a dying man ; and
e'en but now, When a bold ruffian almost seiz'd on me, Thou
didst stand forth and scare him from his prey. Hast thou no
voice ? perhaps thou art deaf too, And I am pleading unto
146 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Keep from me ! stand aloof! I am
Oh! if the devil, that haunts the souls
of men, They say, with lawless and forbidden thoughts, If he
possess thee, here I lift my voice By Jesus Christ of
J^azareth, I adjure The evil spirit to depart from thee.
Alas ! I feel thy grasp upon mine arm,
And I must follow thee. Oh ! thou hast surely In thine own
land, in thine own native home, A wife, a child, a sister :
think what 'twere To Jiave a stranger's violent arms around
her. . Ha ! every where are more and this man's hand Did
surely tremble ; at the holy name He seem'd to bow his head.
I'll follow thee, Let me but kiss the body of my sister,
My dead lost sister
Bless thee ! and thou'lt spare me At least thou art less
savage than the rest. And He that had a virgin mother, He
Will surely listen to a virgin's prayer.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 147
There's hope and strength within my soul
; lead on,
I'll follow thee Salone, oh that thou
Hadst room in thy cold marriage bed for
The Front of the
They fight around the altar, and the dead
Heap the chok'd pavement. Israel tramples
And Gentile Gentile, rushing where the
Like to a pit of frantic gladiators,
Is howling with the strife of men, that
For conquest, but the desperate joy of
Priests, Levites, women, pass and hurry
At least to die within the sanctuary.
I only wait without I take my stand
Here in the vestibule and though the
High and aloof o'er the wide arch of
148 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Hold their calm march, nor deviate to
their vengeance On earth, in holy patience, Lord, I wait,
Defying thy long lingering to subdue The faith of Simon.
'Twas but now I pass'd The corpse of
Amariah, that display 'd In the wild firelight all its
wounds, and lay Embalm'd in honour. John of Galilee Is
prisoner ; I beheld him fiercely gnashing His ponderous
chains. Of me they take no heed, For I disdain to tempt them
to my death, And am not arm'd to slay.
The light within
redder, broader. 'Tis a fire that burns To save or to
destroy. On Sinai's top, Oh Lord ! thou didst appear in
flames, the mountain Burnt round about thee. Art thou here
at length, And must I close mine eyes, lest they be blinded
By the full conflagration of thy presence ?
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 1
TERENTIUS, Soldiers, SIMOX.
Save, save the
Temple ! Placidus, Terentius, Haste, bid the legions cease
to slay ; and quench Yon ruining fire.
Who 's this, that stands unmoved Mid
slaughter, flame, and wreck, nor deigns to bow
Conqueror of Jerusalem ? What art thou?
thou think that Rome Shall quench the fire that burns within
yon Temple ? Ay, when your countless and victorious cohorts,
Ay, when your Caesar's throne, your Capitol Have fallen
Madman, speak !
what art thou ?
150 PALL OF JERUSALEM.
The uncircumcised have known me
heretofore, And thou mayst know hereafter.
It is he
The bloody Captain of the Rebels, Simon,
The Chief Assassin. Seize him, round his limbs Bind straight
your heaviest chains. An urihop'd pageant
For Caesar's high ovation. We'll not slay
Till we have made a show to the wives of
Of the great Hebrew Chieftain. SIMON.
Knit them close, See that ye rivet well
their galling links!
(Holding up the chains.) And ye Ve no
finer flax to gyve me with ?
these, and we will forge thee stronger then.
SIMON. Fool, 'tis not yet the hour.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 151
Hark ! hark !
the shrieks Of those that perish in the flames. Too late ' I
came to spare, it wraps the fabric round. Fate, Fate, I feel
thou'rt mightier than Caesar, He cannot save what thou hast
doom'd ! Back, Romans, Withdraw your angry cohorts, and give
place To the inevitable ruin. Destiny, It is thine own, and
Caesar yields it to thee. Lead off the prisoner.
Can it be ? the
Destroys, the thunders, cease. I'll not
believe, And yet how dare I doubt ?
A moment,. Romans.
Is't then thy will, Almighty Lord of Israel, That this thy
Temple be a heap of ashes ? Is't then thy will, that I, thy
chosen Captain, Put on the raiment of captivity ? By
Abraham, our father ! by the Twelve,
152 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
The Patriarch Sons of
Jacob ! by the Law, In thunder spoken ! by the untouch'd Ark
! By Davicl, and the Anointed Race of Kings ! By great
Elias, and the gifted Prophets !
I here demand a sign
Tis there I see it. The fire that rends
the Veil !
We are then of thee
Abandon'd not abandon'd of ourselves.
Heap woes upon us, scatter us abroad,
Earth's scorn and hissing ; to the race of men A loathsome
proverb ; spurn'd by every foot, And curs'd by every tongue
; our heritage And birthright bondage ; and our very brows
Bearing, like Cain's, the outcast mark of hate : Israel will
still be Israel, still will boast Her fallen Temple, her
departed glory ; And, wrapt in conscious righteousness, defy
Earth's utmost hate, and answer scorn with scorn.
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 153
The Fountain ofSiloe.
MIRIAM, the Soldier*
Here, here not here oh ! any where but
here Not toward the fountain, not by this lone path. If thou
wilt bear me hence, I'll kiss thy feet, I'll call down
blessings, a lost virgin's blessings Upon thy head. Thou
hast hurried me along, Through darkling street, and over
smoking ruin, And yet there seem'd a soft solicitude, And an
officious kindness in thy violence But I've not heard thy
Oh, strangely cruel !
And wilt thou make me sit even on this stone, "Where I have
sate so oft, when the calm moonlight Lay in its slumber on
the slumbering fountain ?
154 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Ah ! where art thou, thou that wert ever
with me, Oh Javan ! Javan !
Javan call'd By Miriam, that Javan answer'd not ? Forgive me
all thy tears, thy agonies. I dar'd not speak to thee, lest
the strong joy Should overpower thee, and thy feeble limbs
Refuse to bear thee in thy flight. MIRIAM.
What's here ?
Am I in
heaven, and thou forehasted thither To welcome me ? Ah, no !
thy warlike garb, And the wild light, that reddens all the
Those shrieks and yet this could not be
The sad, the desolate, the sinful earth.
And thou couldst venture amid fire and
Amid thy country'smiins to protect me,
Dear Javan ?
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 155
'Tis not now
the first time, Miriam, That I have held my life a worthless
sacrifice For thine. Oh ! all these later days of siege I've
slept in peril, and I've woke in peril. For every meeting
I've defied the cross, On which the Roman, in his merciless
scorn, Bound all the sons of Salem. Sweet, I boast not ; But
to thank rightly our Deliverer, We must know all the extent
of his deliverance.
MIRIAM. And I can only weep !
shouldst weep, Lost Zion's daughter.
Ah ! I thought
not then Of my dead sister, and my captive father Said they
not " captive" as we pass'd ? I thought not Of Zion's ruin
and the Temple's waste.
156 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Javan, I fear that mine are tears of joy
; Tis sinful at such times but thou art here, And I am on
thy bosom, and I cannot Be, as I ought, entirely miserable.
My own beloved
! I dare call thee mine, For Heaven hath given thee to me
chosen out, As we two are, for solitary blessing, While the
universal curse is pour'd around us On every head, 'twere
cold and barren gratitude To stifle in our hearts the holy
But, oh Jerusalem ! thy rescued children
May not, retir'd within their secret joy, Shut out the
mournful sight of thy calamities.
Oh, beauty of earth's cities ! throned
queen Of thy milk-flowing valleys ! crown'd with glory ! The
envy of the nations ! now no more
A city One by one thy palaces
Sink into ashes, and the uniform smoke
O'er half thy circuit hath brought back
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 157
Which the insulting flames had made give
place To their untimely terrible day. The flames That in the
Temple, their last proudest conquest, Now gather all then:
might, and furiously, Like revellers, hold there exulting
triumph. Round every pillar, over all the roof, On the wide
gorgeous front, the holy depth Of the far sanctuary, every
portico, And every court, at once, concentrated, As though
to glorify and not destroy,
They burn, they blaze
Look, Miriam, how it stands ! Look!
There are men
around us ! JAVAN.
They are friends,
Bound here to meet me, and behold the last Of our devoted
city. Look, oh Christians ! Still the Lord's house survives
man's fallen dwellings,
158 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
And wears its ruin with a majesty
Peculiar and divine. Still, still it
stands, All one wide fire, and yet no stone hath fallen.
Hark hark ! The feeble cry of an expiring
Hark hark ! The awe-struck shout of the
Hark hark !
it severs it is on the earth. The smother'd fires are
quench'd in their own ruins : Like a huge dome, the vast and
cloudy smoke Hath cover'd all.
And .it is now no more, Nor ever shall be
to the end of time,
The Temple of Jerusalem ! Fall down,
My brethren, on the dust, and worship
here The mysteries of God's wrath.
Even so shall perish,
In its own ashes, a more glorious Temple, Yea, God's own
architecture, this vast world,
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 159
This fated universe the same destroyer,
The same destruction Earth, Earth, Earth,
And in that judgment look upon thine own
Even thus amid
thy pride and luxury, Oh Earth ^ shall that lost coming
burst on thee,
That secret coming of the Son of Man.
When all the cherub-throning clouds shall shine, Irradiate
with his bright advancing sign :
When that Great Husbandman shall wave his
fan, Sweeping, like chaff, thy wealth and pomp away : Still
to the noontide of that nightless day,
Shalf thou thy wonted dissolute course
maintain. Along* the busy mart and crowded street, The buyer
and the seller still shall meet,
And marriage feasts begin their jocund
strain : Still to the pouring out the Cup of Woe ; Till
Earth, a drunkard, reeling to and fro, And mountains molten
by his burning feet, And Heaven his presence own, all red
with furnace heat.
160 FALL OP JERUSALEM.
The hundred-gated Cities then,
The Towers and Temples, nam'd of men
Eternal, and the Thrones of Kings ; The
gilded summer Palaces, The courtly bowers of love and ease,
Where still the Bird of pleasure sings ;
Ask ye the destiny of them ? Go gaze on fallen Jerusalem !
Yea, mightier names are in the fatal roll,
'Gainst earth and heaven God's standard
is unfurl'd, The skies are shrivell'd like a burning scroll.
And the vast common doom ensepulchres the
Oh ! who shall then survive ? Oh ! who
shall stand and live ? When all that hath been, is no more :
When for the round earth hung in air, With all its
constellations fair In the sky's azure canopy ;
When for the breathing Earth, and
sparkling Sea, Is but a fiery deluge without shore,
FALL OF JERUSALEM. 161
Heaving along the abyss profound and
dark, A fiery deluge, and without an Ark.
Lord of all power, when thou art there
alone On thy eternal fiery-wheeled throne, That in its high
meridian noon Needs not the perish'd sun nor moon : When
thou a^rt there in thy presiding state, .
Wide-sceptred Monarch o'er the realm of
doom : When from the sea depths, from earth's darkest womb,
The dead of all the ages round thee wait : And. when the
tribes of wickedness are strewn
Like forest leaves in the autumn of thine
ire : Faithful and True ! thou still wilt save thine own !
The Saints shall dwell within th' unharming fire,
Each white robe spotless, blooming every
Even safe as we, by
this still fountain's side,
So shall the Church, thy bright and
mystic Bride, Sit on the stormy gulf a halcyon bird of calm.
162 FALL OF JERUSALEM.
Yes, 'mid yon angry and destroying signs,
O'er us the rainbow of thy mercy shines, We hail, we bless
the covenant of its beam, Almighty to avenge, Almightiest to
Page 5, line 1.
Advance the eagles, Caius Placidus.
Placidus, though not expressly mentioned
as one of the Roman generals engaged, had a command
Page 8, line
A mount of 'snow fretted with golden
pinnacles ! ToTf ye jwojv s*<ra<piKvoupEvoi$ xo<, rtoppcvQev
opoio; ogei ^10- vo$ TtX^psi xare^a/vero KO,} yap >cafla py
xe^f ucrwro XsoxoVaroj ijv. (Joseph, lib. 5. c. 5). See the
Page 10, line 1.
brethren of the Porch, imperial Titus. Mr. Heber's " Stoic
tyrant's philosophic pride" will occur to the memory at
least of academic readers.
Page 12, lines 3, 4.
Let this night
Our wide encircling walls complete their
circuit. " The days shall come upon thee when thine enemies
shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and
keep thee in on every side." Luke xix. 43. For the
remarkable and perfect completion of this prophecy,
see the description of
the wall built by Titus. Josephus, lib. v. ch. 12.
Page 12, lines 12, 13.
/ should give to thejlame JVhate'er
opposed the sovereign sway of Ccesar. Terentius, or Turnus
RufuS, is marked with singular de- testation in the Jewish
Page 13, line 1.
fountain, once again I visit thee ! The fountain of Siloe
was* just without the walls. The upper city, occupied by
Simon (Joseph, v. 6.), ended nearly on a line with the
fountain. Though, indeed, Simon had pos- session of parts
also of the lower city. Joseph, v. 1.
Page 16, line 18. Let Gischala, let
fallen Jotapata. Gischala and Jotapata, towns before taken
by the Romans.
Page 27, line 3. Our bridal songs, SfC.
It must be recollected, that the
unmarried state was looked on with peculiar horror by the
Jewish maidens. By marriage there was a hope of becoming the
mother of the Messiah.
Page 43, line 5. Did old Mathias hold.
Simon put to death Mathias the High
Priest and his sons, by whom he had been admitted into the
Page 47, line 17.
Ye tvant not testimonies to your
mildness. Titus crucified round the city those who fled from
the famine and the cruelty of the leaders within. (Joseph.
5. ch. 13.) Sometimes, according to Josephus, (lib. 5. c.
11.) 500 in a day suffered.
Page 50, line 5.
on the hills where gleam your myriad spears. The camp of
Titus comprehended a space called the " As- syrian's Camp."
Page 54, line 18.
A javelin to his pale and coward heart !
Josephus gives more than one speech which he addressed to
his countrymen. They only mocked and once wounded him.
Page 62, line 3.
Behold, oh Lord! the Heathen tread, fyc. See Psalm Ixxx. 7,
Page 74, lines 7, 8.
Even in the garb and with the speech of
worship , Went he not up into the very Temple ? This was the
mode in which John surprised Eleazar, who before was in
possession of the Temple.
Page 75, line 1 .
There hath he held the palace of his lusts.
j $s rag ofysi;, e<poVwv raX? Ssfyouf, Q
8& Tol$ (3a,8i<r(j,a,(riv efca.'jrlvrjs lyj'vovTo
iroAE|w.j<rra. Joseph. lib. 4. c. 9. There is a long passage
to the same effect.
Page 86, line 7.
where is now the wine for the bridegroom's rosy cup.
In the prophecy of our Saviour concerning
the destruction of Jerusalem and that of the world, it is
said that " as in the days of Noe, they shall marry and be
given in marriage." Matth. xxiv.
. Page 70, line 10. That when the signs
The prodigies are related by Josephus hi
a magnificent page of historic description.
Page 107, line 18. To the sound of
The bridal ceremonies are from Calmet,
Harmer, and other illustrators of scripture. It is a
singular tradition that the use of the crowns was
discontinued after the fall of Jerusalem. A few
peculiarities are adopted from an account of a Maronite
wedding in Harmer.
Page 1 18, line 3.
The tender and the delicate of women.
"The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not
adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for
delicateness and tenderness, her eye
shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward
her son and toward her daughter, and toward her young one
that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her
children which she shall bear : for she shall eat them for
want of all things secretly in the siege and in the
straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy
gates." (Deuter. xxviii. 56 and 57) See also Lamentations
ii. 20. The account of the unnatural mother is detailed in
Page 130, line 3.
Break into joy, ye barren
that ne'er bore! " And woe unto them that are with child,
and to them that give suck in those days." (Matth. xxiv.