THE RETURN OF ISRAEL by Mary Lundie Duncan

Where is the beauty of that ancient land, 

Where patriarchs fed their flocks by hving streams 

Still tower to heaven its mountain summits grand, 
Still o'er them flings the sun his glorious beams. 

But bowed on Lebanon the cedar's pride, 
Nor vine nor olive waves on Carmel's rugged side. 

Where is the melody of sacred song, 

That floated tuneful down the vales of yore, 
Where David led triumphant choirs along, 

Or Miriam's timbrel swelled on Elim's shore 1 
Faint are the quivering notes, and sad, and low, 
That now, in doubt and gloom, from Judah's children flow. 

The cultured plains, once rich with milk and wine, 
Are turned to deserts, 'neath a stranger's tread j 

The land, in ashes, mourns her banished line. 
Nor yields her fruits, a tyrant's board to spread ; 

While, through remotest climes, her thousands sigh 
To reach their lovely home, and bless it ere they die. 

For, be their dwellings in earth's fairest plains, 

They still an exile's pensive spirit bear ; 
To them, nor hope, nor joy, nor wish remains, 

But, turned to Zion, fondly centres there ; 

They mourn it now, as on the willowy shore, 

Where far Euphrates rolls, of old they wept it sore. 

A time draws nigh to bid your sorrows cease. 
Seed of the Highest ! Yet a little while. 
And all your wanderings shall close in peace : — 

Again for you shall Canaan's beauty smile : 
And where the cloud of heaven's dire vengeance lower'd. 
O'er the rejoicing land Heaven's sunshine* shall be poured. 

* Cant. iv. and vii.

Then shall the gathering tribes, from Sinai's height 

And dewy Hermon, strain their eager gaze, 
To view, through distance blue, or vista bright. 

Each vale, each sacred stream of formerliays ; 
While from Amana's top shall burst the voice 
Of loudest praise, and bid the listening earth rejoice. 

No more shall dark Moriah's brow be crowned 
With idol forms, that shame the blushing day. 

Her King again shall bless the hallowed ground, 
The hills of myrrh* ezultant own his sway : 

His temple rising, evermore shall stand, 
The glory of all earth, the joy of every land. 

With trembling awe shall Judah's children throng 
To tread the sides of blood-stained Calvary, 

And bless the Man of Woes, — rejected long, 

For love that lived through all his agony,° 
And watched, through ages, their ungrateful race. 
That hatred gave for love, and scorn for pardoning grace*. 

His pitying look shall melt their contrite souls, 
His smile celestial comfort shall infuse : 

As on to endless day time's chariot rolls, 

From pole to pole shall spread the joyful news ; 

Till earth, with rays of Salem's glory bright. 
To darkness bids farewell, and springs to life and light. 

M. L. D.
Share to Facebook
Share to Google Buzz
Share to Google Plus
Share to LiveJournal
Share to MyWorld
Share to Odnoklassniki
Share to Yandex
This entry was posted in Mary Lundie Duncan, Poems/Hymns. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.