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

Introductory to Syria


By Lord Morpeth (1802–1864)

BLOW, gentle airs! but on your balmy wing

I ask no flowery tribute of the spring,

No spicy buds in Antioch’s vale that bloom,

No silken stores from rich Aleppo’s loom,

Nor all the wealth that down Orontes’ tide

With Syrian softness hardier climes supplied.

Blow, gentle airs! on this fair Eastern eve,

With breath as holy as the land ye leave;

From Lebanon’s peaks, from blue Gennesareth’s shore,

On the worn heart divine refreshment pour;

From Nazareth’s slope, from high Capernaum’s crest,

Shed heavenly healing on the sinful breast;

And in the calm and brightness mirrored here

Waft the blest presage of a purer sphere.