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City of God! Jerusalem,
Why rushes out thy living stream ?
The Roman in his pride are there!
There rush the bridegroom and the bride ; Prince, beggar, soldier, pharisee,
The old, the young, the bond, the free; The nation's furious multitude, All maddening with the cry of blood. 'Tis glorious morn ;-from height to height
Shoot the keen arrows of the light; And glorious in their central shower,
Palace of holiness and power ; The temple on Moriah's brow, Looks a new risen sun below.
But woe to hill, and woe to vale !
Against them shall come forth a wail : And woe to bridegroom and to bride!
For death shall on the whirlwind ride : And woe to thee, resplendent shrine, The sword is out for thee and thine.
Hide, hide thee in the heavens, thou sun,
Before the deed of blood is done! Upon that temple's haughty steep,
Jerusalem's last angels weep; They see destruction's funeral pall, Black’ning o'er Sion's sacred wall.
Like tempests gathering on the shore,
They hear the coming armies' roar : They see in Sion's hall of state,
The sign that maketh desolateThe idol-standard-pagan spear, The tomb, the flame, the massacre.
They see the vengeance fall; the chain,
The long, long age of guilt and pain : The exile's thousand desperate years, The more than groans, the more than
tears; Jerusalem, a vanished name, Its tribes earth's warning, scoff, and shame.
Still pours along the multitude,
Still rends the heavens the shout of blood, But on the murderer's furious van,
Who totters on? A weary man;
And now he treads on Calvary,
What slave upon that hill must die ? What hand, what heart, in guilt embrued,
Must be the mountain vulture's food ? There stand two victims gaunt and bare, Two culprit-emblems of despair.
Yet who the third ? The yell of shame
Is frenzied at the sufferer's name; Hands clenched, teeth gnashing, vestures torn,
the taunt, the laugh of scorn, All that the dying hour can sting, Are round thee now, thou thorn-crowned
Yet cursed and tortured, taunted, spurned,
No wrath is for the wrath returned, No vengeance flashes from the eye;
The sufferer calmly waits to die: The sceptre-reed, the thorny crown, Wake on that pallid brow no frown.
At last the word of death is given,
The form is bound, the nails are driven; Now triumph, Scribe and Pharisee !
Now Roman, bend the mocking knee! The cross is reared. The deed is done. There stands Messiah's earthly throne !
This was the earth's consummate hour;
For this had blazed the Prophet's power; For this had swept the conqueror's sword,
Had ravaged, raised, cast down, restored ; Persepolis, Rome, Babylon, For this ye sank, for this ye shone.
Yet things to which earth's brightest beam
Were darkness-earth itself a dream. Foreheads on which shall crowns be laid,
Sublime, when sun and star shall fade, Worlds upon worlds-eternal things Hung on thy anguish, King of kings !
Still from his lip no curse has come,
His lofty eye has looked no doom; No earthquake burst, no angel brand
Crushes the black, blaspheming band. What say those lips by anguish riven? "God, be my murderers forgiven!"