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

Syria: Lebanon, the Mount

Mount Lebanon

By Nicholas Michell (1807–1880)

(From Ruins of Many Lands)

BUT see! Day’s king, with robes of glory on,

The sun, hath climbed sky-piercing Lebanon!

Like thousand arrows dipped in ruby light,

Beams dart from rock to rock,—all heaven is bright;

The hanging pines shake off their sombre sleep,

With freshened breath the mountain breezes sweep;

The cascades, dashing joyous, catch the ray,

And leap from crag to crag in silvery spray.

Nestling in dells, the hamlet hides from view,

Smoke o’er the deep green foliage curling blue,

But high above, on rocks exposed and bare,

Gray convents hang, as poised in upper air:

The matin bell with music loads the gale,

And listening echo answers from the vale.

O’er all, the mountains lift their crests of snow,

Nature’s grand crown where stainless jewels glow;

E’en the huge cedars, standing dark and lone,

That years and storms have bowed, but not o’erthrown,

Whose shade might hallow priest or prophet’s tomb,

Hail morning’s smile, and half forget their gloom.