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

Syria: Jerusalem


By James Abraham Hillhouse (1789–1841)

(From Hadad, Act II, Scene II)

’T IS so; the hoary harper sings aright;

How beautiful is Zion! Like a queen,

Armed with a helm, in virgin loveliness,

Her heaving bosom in a bossy cuirass,

She sits aloft, begirt with battlements

And bulwarks swelling from the rock, to guard

The sacred courts, pavilions, palaces,

Soft gleaming through the umbrage of the woods

Which tuft her summit, and, like raven tresses,

Waved their dark beauty round the tower of David.

Resplendent with a thousand golden bucklers,

The embrasures of alabaster shine;

Hailed by the pilgrims of the desert, bound

To Judah’s mart with orient merchandise.

But not for thou art fair and turret-crowned,

Wet with the choicest dew of heaven, and blessed

With golden fruits and gales of frankincense,

Dwell I beneath thine ample curtains. Here,

Where saints and prophets teach, where the stern law

Still speaks in thunder, where chief angels watch,

And where the glory hovers, here I war.