It was amid the gathering gloom,
The deep presaging woes,
The night-fall of her hastening doom,
That Judah’s light arose.
It was while yet that vital beam
Upon her bosom lay,
Her glory vanished like a dream
Her scepter passed away.
It came—her own Messiah’s reign,
The kingdom of her God,
Told by the star on Bethlehem’s plain,
The voice on Jordan’s flood.
Told by each deep prophetic word,
The Lord is nigh;
Responding from the earth that heard
The anthem from the sky.
Told by the gifts with which He came,
In ages past defined—
The herald footstep for the lame,
And daylight for the blind.
By sounds which deafened ear awoke
While all the world was dumb;
As if it first the silence broke,
The Lord is come!
By power to loosen speechless tongue
Which, to the listening ear
That now upon its accents hung,
The Lord is here.
Told by authority that gave
Its mandate to the deep:
That bid the whirlwind and the wave
In calm obedience sleep.
Told by the sympathy severe,
That o’er the suffering bled;
That groaned to see the mourner’s tear
And then awoke the dead.
Told by the miracles divine,
Magnificent and mild,
That awed the priesthood at the shrine,
The thousands in the wild.
But Judah turned from David’s son,
In His appointed hour—
Nor owned that meek and Mighty One,
In gentleness of power.
Saw not, in grace and grandeur meet,
Messiah’s godlike charms,
The lowly blessing at His feet,
And childhood in His arms.
Marked not her Sovereign from on high,
When on the wave He trod;
Nor heard the startled demon’s cry
Before the Son of God.
Then, Judah, then thy heart denied
The Holy and the Just;
Yet still His Spirit o’er thee sighed,
And mourned thee in the dust.
Thy children, on the mountain steep,
Beheld His sorrows flow,
In tears which only He could weep,
That read thy doom of woe.
Thy future record, wide unrolled,
Before His vision lay;
Thy desolations, yet untold—
Thy dark and bitter day.
’Tis past—that form no more appears,
Thine eyes no longer see
The majesty of love in tears,
Jerusalem, for thee!
Thine hands have done the deed accursed—
And wrath upon the stain
Rolls o’er thee, like an ocean burst,
For God’s Messiah slain.
The shuddering earth confessed His doom,
The universe His cry;
And death came wandering from the tomb,
To mark that He could die.
Soon were His sepulcher and shroud
Beneath thy burning wall;
And He upon the judgment cloud,
That thundered o’er thy fall.