Lo! Dura is shouting the war cry of Hell—
Now lit is her symbol of flame—
The hosts of the heathen are bowing to Bel,
And mocking the earth with his name!
But Zion the desolate—wasted and low,
Shall give to Jehovah her trust—
And find in the giant of Babel a foe,
To lay, like Goliath, in dust.
Ah! where is her chief without buckler or spear,
The minstrel that guarded her throne?
His harp has no music for Babylon’s ear,
It sighs on her willows alone.
The spirit that woke in his bosom of old,
That prompted his courage and wrath,
That snatched from the lion the lamb of his fold,
And conquered the demon of Gath.
That spirit, enkindled in Judah again,
The heart of her children inspires;
It speaks for Jehovah, from Babylon’s chain,
And scoffs at her furnace of fire.
Now listen, Chaldea—the wise and the brave
Thus answer thy ruler’s command:
“The God whom we worship is able to save—
The God of our desolate land.
We speak not of mercy, proud monarch, to thee,
We wait not for life on thy breath,
And ere to thine idol we offer the knee,
We welcome thy mandate of death.
They cease—and the heathen is burning with ire,
The strife of oppression and shame;
The brow of his anger is flashing with fire,
That glows in the furnace of flame.
See, Judah! thy chiefs, in their gentleness strong,
Are bearing the sentence of wrath:
How nobly they suffer, who suffer the wrong!
How pure is the light on their path!
So bound, they are borne to the caldron of doom—
Ah, Babel! thy vengeance is vain—
The Hebrews are walking unhurt in its tomb!
The men of Chaldea are slain!
Now, monarch of Babylon, calm is thy rage,
Thy passions have wasted their storm;
But what doth the eye of thy wonder engage?
An angel, or man in that form?
The shout of the heathen is echoed no more;
The voice of the harper is low;
The heathen is bidding the nation adore—
And owning the faith of his foe!
For there, like a beam from the glory on high,
Unmixed with the fierceness of flame,
He sees with the victims he destined to die,
A Guardian he trembles to name.
Behold them! he cries,
’tis the signal divine—
Unharmed in destruction they stand.
O Judah! no God can deliver like thine,
Let thine be the God of the land.