Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
 
Syria: Olivet, the Mount
Mount Olivet
Nicholas Michell (1807–1880)
 
(From Ruins of Many Lands)

FAREWELL! on Olivet’s famed mount we stand,
And view once more this sad but glorious land;
Here, lost in thought, the bard might linger long,
But we must break our dream, and close our song.
The sun with purple paints the western hills,        5
And earth and heaven a holy quiet fills;
Calm in her desolation Salem sleeps,
Round Omar’s mosque the tall green cypress weeps;
Soft gleam the rays on church and convent-spire,
And each slight minaret is tipped with fire:        10
Peace, like an angel, midst the coming gloom
O’er Calvary hangs, and wraps Messiah’s tomb.
A spell on that dim city seems to lie,
And hush the hills around, and crimson sky;
It is not age or mystery or despair,        15
It is not death which casts a shadow there,
But sadness for a blighted, fallen race,
A once proud nation that has lost its place,—
A sorrow that invests each ancient spot,
By feeling reverenced, memory ne’er forgot,        20
And as we muse and think of brighter years,
The eye still gazes on, and fills with tears.
 
 
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