Home  »  The Poets’ Bible  »  The Pathways of the Holy Land

W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

The Pathways of the Holy Land

Elizabeth Charles (1828–1896)

THE PATHWAYS of Thy land are little changed

Since Thou wert there;

The busy world through other ways has ranged,

And left these bare.

The rocky path still climbs the glowing steep

Of Olivet,

Though rains of two millenniums wear it deep,

Men tread it yet.

Still to the gardens o’er the brook it leads,

Quiet and low;

Before his sheep the shepherd on it treads,

His voice they know.

The wild fig throws broad shadows o’er it still,

As once o’er thee;

Peasants go home at evening up that hill

To Bethany.

And as when gazing Thou didst weep o’er them,

From height to height

The white roofs of discrowned Jerusalem

Burst on our sight.

These ways were strewed with garments once, and palm,

Which we tread thus;

Here through Thy triumph on thou passedst, calm,

On to Thy cross.

The waves have washed fresh sands upon the shore

Of Galilee;

But chiselled in the hillsides evermore

Thy paths we see.

Man has not changed them in that slumbering land,

Nor time effaced:

Where Thy feet trod to bless we still may stand;

All can be traced.

Yet we have traces of Thy footsteps far

Truer than these;

Where’er the poor and tried and suffering are,

Thy steps faith sees.

Nor with fond sad regrets Thy steps we trace

Thou are not dead!

Our path is onward, till we see Thy face,

And hear Thy tread.

And now, wherever meets Thy lowliest band

In praise and prayer,

There is Thy presence, there Thy Holy Land,

Thou, Thou art there!