Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Syria: Galilee


By Nicholas Michell (1807–1880)

(From Ruins of Many Lands)

BUT now in beauty and in light we see

The hills and vales of far-famed Galilee.

Though man may walk no more, as in old time,

With step of freedom, and with brow sublime;

Though on the Jew the Moslem pours disdain,

And thinks him less than reptile of the plain;

Though Rapine, mocking law, may prowl the land,

And Murder daily rear her blood-stained hand,—

Still Nature smiles, and Galilee appears

Fair as a bride, although a bride in tears.

In Jezreel’s vale the corn is waving deep,

Fir, larch, and myrtle grace high Tabor’s steep;

In warm Sepphoris’ beds the tulip’s streak

Rivals red Morn when soft her blushes break;

Ten thousand pansies breathe their odorous breath,

And orchards bloom round holy Nazareth;

While birds with song, as cooler eve comes on,

Fill the green groves of bowery Zebulon.