Look – that is no country for old men
That is no Kingdom for cold souls
No wearied Sanballat halting again
Men beaten by life’s toil and tolls.
Men meandering meaninglessly then
Slide gently night-wards with the proles.
That kingdom is for those who will endure
Suffering, bleeding, their souls still pure
Not resting until those walls rest secure.
The aged would claw back times hand
Whilst the fresh scions drive it onward
Both at work mending the Promised Land.
But that kingdom shall not regress downward
It will not if we obey our King’s command
To restore Jerusalem – we shall be empowered.
Arise, Arise, men in your unholy liaison
Rise now assured amidst the murky dawn,
God’s chosen are now arrived from Babylon!
Arise, you people of that New Jerusalem.
This kingdom is a great venture, newly begun
And we are not building a new Byzantium
This task should, can, must and will be done.
I speak not of what was or is but is to come
Of kingdom, wall, of battle which must be won.
Amidst these ragged ruins winds begin to howl,
We persevere in our building without a scowl.
And we sort ‘tween the fair stones and the foul.
We are not a dying generation that moan
Amid gathering darkness. Others lie caught
The desert dulling the soul to a sordid groan.
But we know the quiet voice which verily begot
This solid sphere. Jerusalem’s walls of stone
Needs must our strain, our only thought
We are besieged but resolute in the fight.
From burning darkness turning to tender light
For we will to build Jerusalem with all our might.
Top photo credit: Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro, from © shuttertock.com, stock photo ID: 652195627. Used with permission.