The Orphans’ Lamentation, on Hearing of the Martyrdom of Their Father

I heard a wail from out a distant mountain home;
It crept around a lofty mountain’s rocky dome,
And ran along, o’er hill, and stream, and grassy plain,
Until it found the grave of one but lately slain.

It was the voice of wives and children wild with grief,
Who sought to heaven, with prayers and tears, for kind relief;
For they’d learned, by a paper from a distant place,
The news that they no more could see a father’s face.

That in a land of lust, profanity, and wine,
Where once they dwelt beneath their native vine;
The father and husband had met a martyr’s fate,
By the hands of fiends, surcharged with guilt and hate.

That when his heart was pierced, he fell upon the ground,
Where there was none to raise his head, or bind his wound;
And though he lived for hours, he saw no faithful friend,
By whom he could his dying message safely send.

The wail increased until it reach’d the throne of God,
And Elohim Himself did take His mighty rod,
And said, “I’ll cut these down and blot them from the earth,
“Who’ve slain my Prophets on the soil that gave them birth.

“I’ll send upon them famine, pestilence, and war,
“I’ll call my legions from the northern realms afar,
“And they shall hunt them down in every land and place
“Stain’d with the noble blood of one of Joseph’s race.

“The blood of Parley shall not long before me plead,
“For wrath on him and them who did the hellish dead;
“And e’er it cease to cry, that nation shall atone
“For every widow’s tear, and every orphan’s moan.

“And every drop of a guiltless blood they ever shed,
“Shall quickly come upon their own devoted head;
“For once I have sworn, by myself and by my throne,
“That in the ‘Book of Life’ their names shall ne’er be known!”

By the persecuted lady, Eleanor J. McLean

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 13, 1857, 10]
[Millennial Star, 19:417]

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