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: Gethsemane
Gethsemane
John Keble (1792–1866)
 
(From Monday before Easter)

THERE is a spot within this sacred dale
  That felt Thee kneeling,—touched thy prostrate brow:
One Angel knows it. O, might prayer avail
  To win that knowledge; sure each holy vow
Less quickly from the unstable soul would fade,        5
Offered where Christ in agony was laid.
 
Might tear of ours once mingle with the blood
  That from his aching brow by moonlight fell,
Over the mournful joy our thoughts would brood,
  Till they had framed within a guardian spell        10
To chase repining fancies, as they rise,
Like birds of evil wing, to mar our sacrifice.
 
So dreams the heart self-flattering, fondly dreams;
  Else wherefore, when the bitter waves o’erflow,
Miss we the light, Gethsemane, that streams        15
  From thy dear name, where in his page of woe
It shines, a pale kind star in winter’s sky?
Who vainly reads it there, in vain had seen him die.
 
 
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