Mount Olivet

By Hannah Flagg Gould

Thou sacred mount, on whose pale forehead now
A desert quiet reigneth, ere the soul
Goes up to sit in meditation there,
She shall put off this world, with all its cares
And fading glory, to commune alone
With God, and with herself, on themes divine!
Thought, on swift wing, darts o’er the dubious waves
Where things promiscuous, by three thousand years,
Are swept together in one shadowy deep,
And rests on Olivet!
She here beholds,
Fleeing from refuge from a wicked son,
And with a wounded spirit bowed to earth,
The minstrel king, in bitter anguish come,
Showering the mountain with a father’s tears
For his rebellious child!
But richer drops,
From purer eyes, and by a mightier One,
For thousands sunk in sin, have since been shed,
Where David mourned the guilt of Absalom!
The King of kings stood here; and looking down,
Wept o’er Jerusalem! Here, too, he led,
From the last supper, when the hymn was sung,
His few grieved followers out, in that drear night,
When, in the garden, on the mountain’s slope,
His agony wrung forth the crimson drops!
While these sad pictures, hung upon thy sides,
Thou consecrated height, dissolve the heart
In pious sorrow; yet thy brow is crowned
With a bright, glorious scene!
Now, O my soul,
On the blest summit light a holy flame!
From the last foot-print of the Prince of peace,
The Conqueror of death, let incense rise,
And enter heaven with thine ascending Lord!
Shake off the chains and all the dust of earth!
Go up and breathe in the sweet atmosphere
His presence purified, as he arose!
Come! from the Mount of Olives pluck thy branch,
And bear it, like a dove, to yon bright ark
Of rest and safety!

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