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

Syria: Rama

The Voice of Rama

By George Washington Doane (1799–1859)

HEARD ye, from Rama’s ruined walls,

That voice of bitter weeping!

Is it the moan of fettered slave,

His watch of sorrow keeping?

Heard ye, from Rama’s wasted plains,

That cry of lamentation!

Is it the wail of Israel’s sons,

For Salem’s devastation?

Ah, no,—a sorer ill than chains

That bitter wail is waking,

And deeper woe than Salem’s fall

That tortured heart is breaking:

’T is Rachel, of her sons bereft,

Who lifts that voice of weeping;

And childless are the eyes that there

Their watch of grief are keeping.

O, who shall tell what fearful pangs

That mother’s heart are rending,

As o’er her infant’s little grave

Her wasted form is bending;

From many an eye that weeps to-day

Delight may beam to-morrow;

But she,—her precious babe is not!

And what remains but sorrow?

Bereavéd one! I may not chide

Thy tears and bitter sobbing,—

Weep on! ’t will cool that burning brow,

And still that bosom’s throbbing:

But be not thine such grief as theirs

To whom no hope is given,—

Snatched from the world, its sins and snares,

Thy infant rests in heaven.