DESERT ROSE

Breathes here a man with soul so dead,
He never to himself has said,
   "This is not mine. It's other's land!";
Whose heart has ne'er within him burned
In strangers' homes, when he has learned,
   His people seized it by demand?
Since such yet breathes - go mark him well,
For him, let no proud greetings swell;
Hired all his titles, false his claim,
Corrupt his wealth, devoid of shame;
For like his titles, power and place,
The wretch, regarding only race,
Living - must lose all fair renown;
Dishonoured, dying - shall go down,
To that strange dust his terrors won,
Unmourned, unmissed - if not unhung!

O fair trans-Jordan, Phalestin,
Fit father of all those who've been
At home upon these ancient lands
Feel now the clutch of many hands;
Lands of the Prophets and of God,
Lands of mixed blood in every sod,
How can the wrongs of other climes
Be righted now by victims' crimes?
Think what is now, and what has passed,
And let our cries be heard at last
By all, at blood-guilt's crimes aghast.
So we may find love better still
Than foul extremities of ill,
Eyeless in Gaza, starved and wronged,
Yearning for where all once belonged.
Then, feel that gale of human breath,
The sighs of life, defying death,
That shrivel Sharon's rose of stone -
While in its garden all alone,
A burning Bush learns to atone.

                    (Apologies to Sir Walter Scott)

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