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

Syria: Moriah (Zion), the Mount

The Temptation

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

(From The Divine Tragedy)

TOO weak, alas! too weak is the temptation

For one whose soul to nobler things aspires

Than sensual desires!

Ah, could I, by some sudden aberration,

Lead and delude to suicidal death

This Christ of Nazareth!

Unto the holy Temple on Moriah,

With its resplendent domes, and manifold

Bright pinnacles of gold,

Where they await thy coming, O Messiah!

Lo, I have brought thee! Let thy glory here

Be manifest and clear.

Reveal thyself by royal act and gesture,

Descending with the bright triumphant host

Of all the highermost

Archangels, and about thee as a vesture

The shining clouds, and all thy splendors show

Unto the world below!

Cast thyself down, it is the hour appointed;

And God hath given his angels charge and care

To keep thee and upbear

Upon their hands his only Son, the Anointed,

Lest he should dash his foot against a stone,

And die, and be unknown.