John Clare

(13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864 / Northamptonshire / England)

The Maid Of Jerusalem


Maid of Jerusalem, by the Dead Sea,
I wandered all sorrowing thinking of thee,--
Thy city in ruins, thy kindred deplored,
All fallen and lost by the Ottoman's sword.

I saw thee sit there in disconsolate sighs,
Where the hall of thy fathers a ruined heap lies.
Thy fair finger showed me the place where they trod,
In thy childhood where flourished the city of God.

The place where they fell and the scenes where they lie,
In the tomb of Siloa--the tear in her eye
She stifled: transfixed there it grew like a pearl,
Beneath the dark lash of the sweet Jewish Girl.

Jerusalem is fallen! still thou art in bloom,
As fresh as the ivy around the lone tomb,
And fair as the lily of morning that waves
Its sweet-scented bells over desolate graves.

When I think of Jerusalem in kingdoms yet free,
I shall think of its ruins and think upon thee;
Thou beautiful Jewess, content thou mayest roam;
A bright spot in Eden still blooms as thy home.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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