Lamentation over Jerusalem

Lamentation over Jerusalem

Lamentation over Jerusalem.

(The Gospel History, Section 105)

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her own brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Lamentation over Jerusalem

(The Saviour of the World, Vol VI Book IV Poem LXII)

The Lord lift up His voice and, passionate,
Lamented the loved city, for that fate
He only might perceive, and all the woes
Dreadful, unnameable, to fall on those,
Rejected Him to-day; how would He yet
Have gathered them, rebellious, had they let!

In the garden of God, in Eden hast thou been,
Thou city glorious in the subtle sheen
Of every precious stone! jasper and gold
Beryl and emerald hast thou used of old
For thine adorning! Thou fill’st up the sum—
Perfect in beauty, to great wisdom come!

Upon the holy mountain of thy God,
Anointed cherub wert thou, ere the rod
Was raised in menace for thy backslidings,
Thy wilfulness perverse, thy misguidings;—
But thou wert perfect in thy ways when there
I placed thee, sure, a covering cherub fair!

Thy beauty was too much for thee; thy heart
Forsook the wisdom that became thy part;
In folly thou hast made thyself profane;
In treacherous traffic multiplied thy gain;
Thy sanctuaries are no more kept for Him
Who lodg’d of old between the Cherubim.

Saith the Lord God, “Against thee am I turned;
Thy temple overthrown, thy dwellings burned,
To ashes will I bring thee in the sight
Of those who long have named thee their delight;—
Astonished at thee, shall the people be,
And terror overtaketh them who see!

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, hast stoned
The messengers I sent thee, nor atoned
With tears, in sackcloth, for thy vast offence,
Hast killed My prophets and, harsh, driven hence
My holy men of old, yet do I love
Thy very stones all other things above!

“My prophets have I sent thee, a long line,
Of men whom I had charged with words divine;
What hast thou done to them? Made haste to kill!
And now, with My blood, that red cup wilt fill,
The cup of thine iniquity! I grieve
That thou, how late soe’er, wilt not believe!

“How oft would I have gathered in My love
Thy people, dear to Me all folk above!
As mother hen spreads out her wings to shield
Her scarce fledged brood, nor one of them will yield,
Over thy children would I spread My wings,
But ye would not! Alas, for heavy things

“Shall fall on you; your house left desolate,
On Me then shall ye cry aloud, too late!
Ye shall not see Me till ye learn to say,—
And though it tarry, shall arrive the day,—
‘Blesséd is He that cometh in God’s name—
The Son of Man, whom we have put to shame!’”

St. Luke xiii. 34, 35.