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Poems of Andrew Lang


ZIMBABWE



(The ruined Gold Cities of Rhodesia. The Ophir of Scripture.)

Into the darkness whence they came,
They passed, their country knoweth none,
They and their gods without a name
Partake the same oblivion.
Their work they did, their work is done,
Whose gold, it may be, shone like fire
About the brows of Solomon,
And in the House of God's Desire.

Hence came the altar all of gold,
The hinges of the Holy Place,
The censer with the fragrance rolled
Skyward to seek Jehovah's face;
The golden Ark that did encase
The Law within Jerusalem,
The lilies and the rings to grace
The High Priest's robe and diadem.

The pestilence, the desert spear,
Smote them; they passed, with none to tell
The names of them who laboured here:
Stark walls and crumbling crucible,
Strait gates, and graves, and ruined well,
Abide, dumb monuments of old,
We know but that men fought and fell,
Like us, like us, for love of Gold.