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בס"ד

A Vision of Jerusalem.

While listening to a beautiful organ in one of the gentile shrines.

By Grace Aguilar.

I saw thee, oh, my fatherland, my beautiful, my own!
As if thy God had raised thee from the dust where thou art strewn,
His glory case around thee, and thy children bound to Him,
In links so brightly woven, no sin their light could dim.

Methought the cymbal's sacred sound came softly on my ear,
The timbrel, and the psaltery, and the harp's full notes were near;
And thousand voices chaunted, his glory to upraise,
More heavenly and thrillingly, than e'en in David's days.

Methought the sons of Levi were in holy garments there,
Th' anointed one upon his throne in holiness so fair,
That all who gazed on him might feel the promise he fulfill'd,
And sin, and all her baleful train, now he had come, were still'd.

And thousands of my people thronged the pure and holy fane,
The curse removed from ev'ry brow, ne'er more to come again;
Th' Almighty hand from each, from all, had ta'en the scorching brand,
And Israel, forgiven, knelt within our own bright land!

My country! Oh, my country! Was my soul enrapt in thee
One passing moment, that mine eyes might all thy glory see?
What magic power upheld me there?—alas, alas! It past,
And darkness o'er my aspiring soul the heavy present cast.

I stood ALONE 'mid thronging crowds who filled that stranger shrine,
For there were none who kept the faith I hold so dearly mine:
An exile felt I, in that house, from Israel's native sod,—
An exile yearning for my home,—yet loved still by my God.

No exile from his love! No, no; tho' captive I may be,
And I must weep, when'er I think, my fatherland, on thee!
Jerusalem! My beautiful! My own! I feel thee still,
Though for our sins thy sainted sod the Moslem strangers fill.

Oh! That thy children all would feel what our sins have done,
And by our ev'ry action prove such guilt the exiles shun,
Until they week their God in prayer, oh! Will He turn to them,
And raise thee once again in life, my own Jerusalem!

"If they their own iniquity in humbleness confess,
And all their fathers' trespasses,—nor seek to make them less;*
If they my judgments say are right, and penitently own
They reap the chastisement of sin, whose seeds long years have sown:**

* Levit. 26.40.
** Ib. 41.

"Then will I all my vows recall, and from them take my hand,
My covenant remember, and have mercy on their land."*
So spake the Lord in boundless love to Israel his son;**
But can we, dare we say, these things we do, or we have done?

* Ib. 42.45.
** Exod. 4. 22, 23.

Alas, my country! Thou must yet deserted rest and lone,
Thy glory, loveliness, and life, a Father's gifts, are flown!
Oh! That my prayers could raise thee radiant from the sod,
And turn from Judah's exiled sons their God's avenging rod!

And like an oak thou standest, of leaves and branches shorn;*
And we are like the withered leaves by autum tempests torn
From parent stems, and scattered wide o'er hill, and vale, and sea,
And known as Judah's ingrate race wherever we may be.

* Isaiah 1.29, 30; 6.13

Oh! Blessed was that visioned light that flash'd before mine eye;
But, oh, the quick awakening check'd my soul's ecstatic sigh!
Yet still, still wilt thou rise again, my beautiful, my home,
Our God will bring thy children back, ne'er, ne'er again to roam!