Above the Dead Sea’s bitter waves
Like hollowed eyes, the hills have caves,
And there a man all robed in white
Wraps manuscripts in linen, tight,
And seals them up with pitch and wax
And places them in jars, and stacks
Them safely in the rough-hewn vault
That gazes on the sea of salt.
So pass by centuries – a score,
Of seldom peace and often war.
The treasures languish in their lair;
Some crumble in the desert air.
A herd boy passing by alone
Into the cave’s mouth throws a stone.
Two thousand years their secrets sealed;
A shattered jar – the scrolls revealed.