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There stood, while Caesar thus, addressing, spake—

"Know the great peril which ye undertake;

And he who will, of all this shining


Now throng'd upon this far-extended plain,

First dare attempt to scale this lofty wall,

And shall succeed above them, one and all

Shall be promoted to a high estate, Should he escape the deadly shafts of Fate."

"I will," cried one, "the lofty wall ascend,

Scale its rude pile, and with the foe contend:"

Then o'er his head he threw his brazen shield,

And like a lion stalk'd along the field. The host, beholding, saw the hero rise O'er the high wall, and shook, with shouts, the skies:

Ten others also, by his daring fir'd, Whose hearts were with the love of fame inspir'd,

With rapid strides, his dang'rous track pursue;

'Mid whistling darts, that round them quickly flew,

These mount the wall-the Jews astonish'd fly,

While shouts of triumph echo round the sky:

The Zealot bands a shower of missiles pour'd

The fatal shafts, with dreadful hissing, roar'd:

Swift, from their shields, the falling missiles bound,

And roll, impetuous, o'er the rocky ground;

The foremost strove a rock's vast bulk to gain,

But stumbling, as he strove, roll'd down amain,

And fell within the area of the wall, And loud the earth resounded to his fall;

Then rush'd the Zealots to the fatal spot

The champion with a thousand fiercely fought;

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And while the city shook to war's alarms;

Toss'd like a sea, when furious tempests roar,

And rolls her waves high-foaming on the shore

So heav'd sad Salem to the Spoiler's sword,

Nor yet, to save her, would confess her lord:

Without her walls his mighty legions stood,

Within was Famine and her fiendish brood,

To drain the life-blood from her throbbing heart,

By Faction pierc'd, and prob'd in ev'ry part.

Where now the hand to check the fatal blow

To waste with Death her strong, oppressive foe?

Ah! fated city, thou hadst griev'd thy God,

And Justice still provok'd his vengeful rod;

Though thou dost mourn, thy woes He I will not heal

Nor soothe the pangs which thou art doomed to feel;

His vengeful wrath must scathe thy vaunted realm,

Till wild destruction shall thy land o'erwhelm:

Long has thy land, thy spirit-trodden clime,

Been the abode of Bloodshed, Guilt and Crime;

And thou must writhe beneath the

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By hunger urged, pursuing, howls for food

All day will seek-but finding none, at night,

Raging, returns with craving appetiteHowls to his lair upon the mountain steep

Devours his nurslings as they lie asleep

Of one and all a gen'ral havoc makes-Slakes thus his hunger, then his lair forsakes.

And Mary, thus by Famine's rage compell'd,

Against Affection's nat'ral laws rebell'd; Roasts her own child-the idol of her soul

Nor could Affection's laws her hands control.

Most wicked action in the book of Time!

Our heart's blood curdles to relate the crime;

And ev'ry feeling of our heart does bleed,

And Pity, blushing, mourns the horrid deed!

Such were the ills, sad Salem, thou didst feel,

When pierced and torn by the Avenger's steel!

And still his vengeance was not fully paid

His hand still held the sanguinary blade.

Now o'er the ramparts see Rome's eagles wave,

And martial myriads rush unwont to save;

There mail-clad warriors round the Temple throng,

And chieftains goad their harness'd steeds along;

Fair, too, the sun sheds his departing smile

Upon the Temple's consecrated pile, And brightly through its gothic cloisters play'd,

In radiant lines, along its cool arcade; And his last rays, that streak'd that

vault of blue,

Sigh'd to thy golden spires a last adieu; And heavenward flash'd her hallow'd

light afar,

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See the lone maiden front the soldier's steel

Or o'er her breast the courser drive his heel;

Or by the Temple's burning splendor stole,

And on its altars lay her languid soul. Their weary sages in her court-yards laid

Once the defenders of the olive shadeNow crush'd to earth, in dreadful carnage roll'd,

Where her white pavements stream with molten gold.

Ah! then, would Pity not regard thy


As o'er the hills the burning Temple


Ah, no! no pity in the victor's breast, Had power to soothe thy raging soul to rest!

Though long he strove to quench the flaming brand,

Still it roll'd high above his pitying hand;

And now the bray of arms on armor broke,

And sire and son felt the strong sabre's stroke;

Prest to the earth, the steel-smote warriors kneel,

And greet the woes which they were doom'd to feel:

Then wild the war-cry peal'd by Judah's hills,

And stirr'd the silence of her slumb'ring rills;

And the deep glens, by Jordan's yellow


Heard the last struggles of the free and brave

Came o'er her deserts like some mournful tone

Breath'd, by a spirit, from a world unknown,

And onward passing to its destined shore,

To sink to rest, nor wake the world no


Ah, mitred Queen, whose sceptre and whose throne

Hadst made the Eastern empire all thy


How art thou fall'n!-in the dust laid low,

And all thy splendor wrapt in weeds of wo!

Thy gorgeous Temple and its towers have fell

Chaos of ruins where the pompous swell

Of arch and column, that adorn'd thy site,

Forth bodying blindness on the gazer's sight:

Ah! all is swept by the proud Roman's plough,

And now thy beauty spreads thy sainted brow:

Thy jubilees are past-thy feasts are o'er

Thy altars smoke with votive gifts no more;

Nor from Samaria's hallow'd peaks arise

The smoke of fragrant incense to the skies:

No tabret pipes are heard on Zion's hill,

No browsing sheep-flocks bleat by Siloa's rill;

Nor harp at morn is heard by Kedron's wave,

Where Jewish maids of old were wont to lave

Their snow-white feet, or from her verdant side

Crop the white rose, fair Sharon's nobler pride;

No timbrel's notes break through thy marble walls,

Nor dark-ey'd maidens harp amid thy halls,

To cheer the dance with music's hallow'd swell,

Nor Israel's bards drink prescience from its spell;

Ah! all is gone, for Ruin widely, now, Lifts his grim visage o'er thy princely brow;

Nor aught remains, of all thy pride, to tell

Where once thou wast, or where thy glory fell

But yet shalt thou amid thy wastes


And clear the Night of Ages from thy skies.

JOHNSON PIERSON (Published St. Louis, 1844.)


It is mentioned by Josephus, that a short time previous to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the priests, going by night into the inner court of the temple to perform their sacred ministrations at the feast of Pentecost, felt a quaking, and heard a rushing noise, and, after that, a sound as of a great multitude saying, "Let us depart hence."

NIGHT hung on Salem's towers,

And a brooding hush profound Lay where the Roman eagle shone, High o'er the tents around.

The tents that rose by thousands

In the moonlight glimmering pale; Like the white waves of a frozen sea, Filling an Alpine vale,

And the temple's massy shadow

Fell broad, and dark, and still, In peace, as if the Holy One Yet watch'd His chosen hill.

But a fearful sound was heard
In that old fane's deepest heart,
As if mighty wings rush'd by,
And a dread voice raised the cry,
"Let us depart!"

Within the fated city

E'en then fierce discord raved, Though o'er night's heaven the comet sword

Its vengeful token waved.

There were shouts of kindred warfare

Through the dark streets ringing high, Though every sign was full which told Of the bloody vintage nigh.

Though the wild red spears and arrows
Of many a meteor host,
Went flashing o'er the holy stars,

In the sky now seen, now lost.

And that fearful sound was heard
In the Temple's deepest heart,
As if mighty wings rush'd by,
And a voice cried mournfully,
"Let us depart!"

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