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: Capernaum
Capernaum
Nicholas Michell (1807–1880)
 
(From Ruins of Many Lands)

BUT near where Jordan, rippling, joins the lake,
And towering hills a wilder aspect take,
Dark groups of ruin draw the traveller’s eye,
And while they prompt reflection ask a sigh.
Frieze, cornice, pillar, lie in mouldering heaps,        5
Where in the sun the listless adder sleeps.
With ivies hung by Ruin’s mocking hand,
A huge black pile o’erlooks the wave-kissed sand;
Here frowns a building, pierced with arches gray,
Temple or royal palace, who may say?        10
Within those courts their tents wild Arabs spread,
Or some fell robber hides his dastard head:
Bright pleasure’s town, where sorrow shed no tear,
’T is proud Capernaum, all thou see’st here!
 
 
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