I dream of Lebanon by an azure sea;
Wave-kissed shores, and rocky glades;
Snowcaps on mountains, glistening gorgeously;
O sweet-scented pines’ serenades.
I see a land laden with fruits of the earth;
A tropical jewel ablaze
With myriad flowers and wee children’s mirth.
Rainbow sunsets prolong their days.
Purple dusk is tinted by a lustrous moon
And broidered with a million stars.
For lullabies—the sea plays a crooning tune
Of golden notes on silv’ry bars.
Blessed of Christ, O, Lebanon, my paeans
Echo the lyrics of sages.
Thy beauty is lovelier than gossamer dreams.
Thy glory shall crown all ages.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on April 8, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.
“My Lebanon” appears in The Syrian World, vol. 1, no. 11 (May 1927). In a note accompanying the poem, founder and editor Salloum A. Mokarzel writes, “Miss [Edna K.] Saloomey is an American-born Syrian girl in whom the call of the blood is manifested in such tender lays for the country of her parents as she gives expression to in this poem. She is at present a resident of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and her many interesting letters published in former issues have elicited much favorable comment. We welcome her to the ranks of our contributors.” Saloomey would later go on to become an editor of the magazine in 1932. In their Annotated Index to the Syrian World, 1926–1932 (University of Minnesota, 1994), independent researcher John G. Moses and Eugene Paul Naser, professor of English at Utica College of Syracuse University, remark that “[t]he poet dreams of a Lebanon she has heard of in the ‘lyrics of sages,’ especially in the Old and New Testaments.”