114. Judaism
(A Tragic Chorus.)

            O PITEOUS race!
        Fearful to look upon,
        Once standing in high place,
            Heaven's eldest son.
            O aged blind
    Unvenerable! as thou flittest by,
    I liken thee to him in pagan song,
            In thy gaunt majesty,
    The vagrant King, of haughty-purposed mind,
        Whom prayer nor plague could bend [Note];
Wrong'd, at the cost of him who did the wrong,
Accursed himself, but in his cursing strong,
        And honour'd in his end. {193}

            O Abraham! sire,
        Shamed in thy progeny;
        Who to thy faith aspire,
            Thy Hope deny.
            Well wast thou given
From out the heathen an adopted heir,
Raised strangely from the dead when sin had
        Thy former-cherish'd care.
O holy men, ye first-wrought gems of heaven
        Polluted in your kin,
Come to our fonts, your lustre to regain.
O Holiest Lord! ... but Thou canst take no stain
            Of blood, or taint of sin.

            Twice in their day
        Proffer of precious cost
        Was made, Heaven's hand to stay
            Ere all was lost.
            The first prevail'd;
    Moses was outcast from the promised home,
    For his own sin, yet taken at his prayer
            To change his people's doom.
    Close on their eve, one other ask'd and fail'd; 
{194}  When fervent Paul was fain
The accursèd tree, as Christ had borne, to bear,
No hopeful answer came,—a Price more rare
            Already shed in vain.

Off Marseilles Harbour
June 27, 1833.

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