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 A child no more!—harsh-browed and strong,
He towered a giant in the throng,
And down his shoulders, broad and bare,
Swept the black terror of his hair.
He raised his arm—he smote amain;
As round the reaper falls the grain,
So the dark host around him fell,
So sank the foes of Israel!
Again I looked. In sunlight shone
The towers and domes of Askelon;
Priest, warrior, slave, a mighty crowd
Within her idol temple bowed.
Yet one knelt not; stark, gaunt, and blind,
His arms the massive pillars twined,
An eyeless captive, strong with hate,
He stood there like an evil Fate.
The red shrines smoked,—the trumpets pealed:
He stooped,—the giant columns reeled;
Reeled tower and fane, sank arch and wall,
And the thick dust-cloud closed o'er all!
Above the shriek, the crash, the groan
Of the fallen pride of Askelon,
I heard, sheer down the echoing sky,
A voice as of an angel cry,—
The voice of him, who at our side
Sat through the golden eventide;
Of him who, on thy altar's blaze,
Rose fire-winged, with his song of praise.
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