The Daughter Of Jephthah Among The Mountains.

A poem by Mary Gardiner Horsford

Night bent o'er the mountains
With aspect serene;
The deep waters slept
'Neath the moon's pallid sheen,
And the stars in their courses
Moved noiseless on high,
As a soul, when it cleaveth
In thought the blue sky.

The low winds were spent
With the fever of day,
And stirred scarce a leaf
Of the green wood's array;
And the white, fleecy clouds
Hovered light on the air,
Like an angel's wing, bent
For a penitent prayer.

Sleep hushed in the city
The tumult and strife,
And calmed in the spirit
The unrest of life:
But one, where Mount Lebanon
Lifted its snow,
Slumbered not till the morn
Wakened earth with its glow.

Beneath the dark cedars,
Majestic, sublime,
That for ages had mocked
Both at tempest and Time,
In whose tops the wild eagle
His eyrie had made,
She knelt with pale cheek
In the damp, mossy glade.

The small hands were folded
In worship divine,
And the silent leaves thrilled.
In that lone forest shrine,
With the voice of the pleader,
That, earnest and low,
Was sad as the sea-shell's
And plaintive with woe.

She prayed not for life,
Though Youth's early bloom
Glowed on her fair cheek,
And recoiled from the tomb;
But a heart pure and strong,
Sublimed by its pain, -
A spirit attuned
To the seraph's bright strain.

She saw not the dark boughs
That, spectral and hoar,
With lattice-work rude
Arched her wide temple o'er;
She marked not their shadows
Gigantic and dim;
Her soul was communing
In triumph with Him; -

With the Ancient of Days,
Who from mercy-seat high
Beheld the pale pleader
With vigilant eye;
And Peace with white pinion
Came down from His throne,
And the gleam of her wing
On that fair forehead shone.

O Thou that upholdest
The feeble and frail,
And leadest the pilgrim
Through Life's narrow vale!
When the days that are measured
My spirit below
Shall have ceased to the past
From the future to flow, -

May the Summoner find me
As placid and strong,
As meet for endurance
Of agony long,
With a faith as divine
And vision as clear,
As the watchers who wept
On the hills of Jud├Ža!

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