A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields/The Cedars of Lebanon (A. de Lamartine)
THE CEDARS OF LEBANON.
Eagles that wheel above our crests,
Say to the storms that round us blow,
They cannot harm our gnarled breasts
Firm rooted as we are, below.
Their utmost efforts we defy!
They lift the sea-waves to the sky,
But when they wrestle with our arms
Nervous and gaunt, or lift our hair,
Balanced within its cradle fair
The tiniest bird has no alarms.
Sons of the rock, no mortal hand
Here planted us; God-sown we grew.
We're the diadem green and grand
On Eden's summit that He threw.
When waters in a deluge rose
Our hollow flanks could well enclose
Awhile, the whole of Adam's race;
And children of the patriarch
Within our forest built the Ark
Of covenant, foreshadowing grace.
We saw the tribes as captives led,
We saw them back return anon;
As rafters have our branches dead
Covered the porch of Solomon.
And later, when the Word made Man
Came down in God's salvation-plan
To pay for sin the ransom price,
The beams that formed the Cross we gave,
These, red in blood of power to save,
Were altars of the Sacrifice.
In memory of such great events
Men come to worship our remains,
Kneel down in prayer within our tents,
And kiss our old trunks' weather-stains.
The saint, the poet, and the sage
Hear, and shall hear from age to age,
Sounds in our foliage like the voice
Of many waters. In these shades,
Their burning words are forged like blades,
While their uplifted souls rejoice.