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Poetry and Fiction by Rebekah Hyneman (1816-1875)

 

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

by Rebekah Hyneman

"Thy chains as they rankle, thy blood as it runs,
But make thee more painfully dear to thy sons,
Whose hearts, like the young of the desert-bird's nest,
Drink love in each life-drop that flows from thy breast."
MOORE.

First published in The Occident, June, 1847. 

Up, student, arouse! leave thy classical page,
And join in our holy pilgrimage,
We will journey o'er valley and mountain, trod
By those who hold with Israel's God.
Askest thou what path we will choose for our race,
To that coveted home, our hearts' resting place?
Oh! wherever we tread toward that hallowed spot,
Are the relics of incidents unforgot.

Shall we pass through the valley of Hebron, whose dust
Was once heaped o'er the graves of the faithful and just?
The trio, whose names have a halo as bright
As the crescented moon on a midsummer night.
Shall we pass by the shore of the dull Dead Sea,
Whose sluggish waves roll without power to flee,
And still sleep, though they heave like a spirit in pain,
O'er the guilt-stricken cities, the scourge of the plain.
Or turn we to Nebo, whose consecrate sod
Was the burial place of the meek one of God?
Thus, wherever we tread toward that hallowed spot,
Are the relics of incidents unforgot.

Oh thy mountains, oh, Gilboa! our glory was slain,
And we tread o'er thy desolate passes with pain;
And we weep to recall thee, oh! Israel, our pride,
When thy trusted and faithful had fall'n at thy side--
And back through the vista of years we can trace
All thy sorrow and shame in that desolate place.

But turn we from all that brings sorrow and pain,
And hail thee triumphant and glorious again,
As when by the shore of the Red Sea, whose wave
Sung the requiem wild of the tyrant and slave;
Again may the song of thy triumph float free,
As it rose from the shore of that old Red Sea.

Then pause not, dear student, nor turn to thy page
To seek for a guide to our pilgrimage,
For wherever we tread toward that holy spot,
Are the relics of incidents unforgot.