« AnteriorContinuar »
Let the life-hlood he sprinkled on each doorpost, Nor stir till the morn arise;
And the Angel of Vengeance shall pasS yon hy,
He shall see the red staiu, and shall not come nigli
Where the hope of your household lies."
The people hear, and they how them low— Each to his house hath flown;
The lamh is slain, and wih hlood they go, And sprinkle the lintel-stone;
And the doors they close when the snn hath set,
But few in ohlivions sleep forget
,Tis Midnight—yet they hear no sound
No hlast of a pestilence sweeps the ground,
Nor rush as of harpy wing goes hy,
But the calm moon floats in the cloudless sky, 'Mid her wan light clear and sweet.
Once only, shot like an arrowy ray,
A pale hlue flash was seen, It pass'd so swift, the eye scarce could say
That such a thing had heen: Yet the heat of every heart was still, And the flesh crawl'd fearfully and chill,
And hack flow'd every vein.
The courage of Israel's hravest quail'd
Though the hlood of their offering avail'd
They felt'twas the Spirit of Death had past,
That the hrightness they saw, his cold glance had cast On Egypt's land that night :—
That his fearful eye had nnwarn'd struck down In the darkness of the grave, The hope of that empire, the praise of its crown, The first-hom of lord and slave :— The lovely, the tender, the ardent, the gay, Where were they ?—all wither' d in asnei away, At the terrihle death-glare it gave.
Prom the couches of slumher ten thousand cries
Burst forth 'mid the silence dread— The youth hy his living hrother lies
Sightless, and dumh, and dead! The infant lies cold at his mother's hreast, She had kiss'd him alive as she sunk to rest,
She awakens—his life hath fled!
And shrieks from the palace - chamhers
Wail, King of the Pyramids—Death hath
free, Lest their God in fierce anger should smite even thee, On the crown of thy purple pride.
'Tis midnight—'tis midnight o'er Egypt's dark sky,
And the young mother wakes and arouses from rest,
And the young hrother clings to the elder in fear,
And the first-horn of Egypt are dying around;
And there, lay the infant still smiling in Ideath,
And there, fell the youth in the pride of his prime,
And the fond mother's hope, and the fond father's trust,
And the hearths of that country are desolate now.
Oh ! for that spirit, which on Moses' lyre
Through pathless wilds, hy signs and won-
Suhlime the trinmph swells! to him, the
Lord, The God of hattles,wakeseach tuneful chord; Their full applanse the deep-mouthed clarions raise, And virgin-timhrels join their softer praise: From thousand altars holy perfumes rise, And myriads how in one vast sacrifice.
Are these the trihes, which late hy Sihor's
tide Wept o'er their wrongs, and loud for vengeance cried 1 For them hope heamed not; hut a night
profound, An endless night, seemed gathering fast
around: Yet did the day-spring rise; the captive's
groan Went not unheeded to his Father's throne: He heard the mother's shriek, in anguish
wild, Ask from the tyrant's hand her murdered
child: He saw the toiling slave, the inhuman lord, And the keen tortures of the knotted cord. Thrice favoured race! Jehovah's parent eye Marked every tear, and numhered every
sigh; And though full many a dreary age had shed Slavery's worst woes upon the unshelter'd
head, Though dark and long the night, yet morn
coald hring Joy in its eye, and healing on its wing. And lo! he comes, the Seer whom Greece
would claim Her guardian-power hy many a fahled name; Meekest of men, hy God's own voice decreed, His chosen flock, with shepherd-care to
lead; For this, was mercy's arm ont-stretch'd to
save His infant promise from an early grave, When Nile's tame hillow kissed his rushy
hed, And the green suake played harmless o'er
his head; For this, when science tanght his wondering
view To read the stars, and look all nature through;
When wealth and honour led his youth along, And pleasure wooed him with her siren song , For this, (as warmed he felt his spirit rise, And, kindling, claim its high-horn destinies,) For this he spurned them all; and now his
hand Sheds pale dismay on Egypt's tremhling
land, And waves exulting the triumphant rod, Israel's release, and symhol of his God!
'Tis past—that hour of death! the eye of
light On its own towers looks down, in glory
hright: Yet ne'er on host so vast its golden heam, Waking, hath shone, as now; with mighty
stream Of mingled man and herd, from Goshen's
land Pours frequent forth,a more than locust-hand.
They go; hut all is silent as the tomh! For look! where, colomned high, in massy
gloom, Deep as the darkness of the coming storm, Moves slow hefore the host a giant-form; And see, as all the twilight landscape fades, A pale and duhious light the mass pervades, And, as the night rolls on, the wondrous frame Pours a hroad glare, and hrightens into
flame. 'Tis not the heacon-fire, which wakes from
far The wandering sons of rapine and of war; 'Tis not of night's fair lamp the silvery heam, Nor the quick-darting meteors angry gleam; No! 'tis the pillar'd cloud, the torch of
Heaven,. Pledge of the present God, hy mercy given; The sacred hoon, hy Providence supplied, By day to cover, and hy night to guide. And He, the great, the Eternal Lord, whose
might All heing owns, " who spake and there was
light," Who gave the sun the tower of day to keep, And the pale moon to watch o'er nature's
sleep; He, present still, shall aid, shall safety yield; Thy lamp hy night, hy day thy guide and
But see! where Egyptcomes! with steed and car,
And thousands, panting for the spoils of war;
Bold waves her plume, and proud her hanners gleam,
As now they hask in Victory's golden heam:
The war-tramp speaks: madd'ning she spurns the shores,
And through the yawning surges headlong pours.—
But where is Egypt now? Where all her
might, Her steeds, her cars, her thousands armed
for fight? Where is the hanner'd pride that waved so
high? And where the trump that told of victory ?— All, all are past! the chained and fettered
deep, Loosed from its honds, at one tremendous
sweep Whelmed all their hopes, and not a wreck
is seen, To tell to future times, that they had heen!
THE SONG OF MIKIAM.
Sound the loud timhrel o'er Egypt's dark
seal Jehovah hath trium ph'd I his people are free I Sing—for the pride of the tyrant is hroken; His chariots, his horsemen, all splendid and
brave,— How vain was their hoasting! the Lord hath
hut spoken, And chariots and horsemen are sunk in the
wave: Sound the loud timhrel o'er Egypt's /lark
sea! Jehovah hath triumph'd I his people are free I
Praise to the Conqueror! praise to the Lord! His word was our arrow—his hreath was our sword!
Who shall return to tell Egypt the story
pride 1 The Lord hath look'd out from his pillar of
glory, And all her hrave thousands are dash'd in
the tide 1 Sound the loud timhrel o'er Egypt's dark
sea 1 Jehovah hath triumph'd! his people are free!
BALAK AND BALAAM.
Numh, xxiii, xxiv.
Ufon the hill the Prophet stood;
'Twas morn ;—'twas noon;—the sacrifice
'Twas eve;—the flame was feehle now,
"Now curse, or die!"—The gathering roar
The Prophet was in prayer;—he rose,
He saw their camp, like endless clouds,
A sudden spirit on him came,
A sudden fire was in his eye;
His tongue was touched with hallowed flame,
The "Cursor" swelled with prophecy.
"How shall I curse whom God hath hless'd? With whom he dwells, with whom shall
"Be Israel cursed," was in his soul,
A whirlwind from the desert rushed,
Broad in the East a new-horn Star
"I shall hehold it, hut not now!
"All power is in his hand; the world
"He comes, a stranger to his own!
"Proud Israel! o'er thy diadem
The Prophet ceased in awe; the Star
And sweet and solemn echoes flowed
Fro.M conquest Jephtha came, with faltering
step And trouhled eye; his home appears in view; He tremhles at the sight. Sad he forehodes,— His vow will meet a victim in his child; For well he knows, that from her earliest
years, She still was first to meet his homeward
steps; Well he rememhers, how, with tottering gait, She ran, and clasped his knees, and lisped,
and looked Her joy; and how, when garlanding with
flowers His helm, fearful, her infant hand would
shrink Back from the lion couch'd heneath the crest, What sound is that, which, from the palmtree grove, Floats now with choral swell, now fainter
falls Upon the ear? It is, it is the song He loved to hear,—a song of thanks and
praise, Sung hy the patriarch for his ransomed son, Hope from the omen springs; O hlessed hope! It may not he her voice !—Fain would he
think 'Twas not his danghter's voice, that still approached, Blent with the timhrel's note. Forth from
the grove She foremost glides of all the minstrel-hand: Moveless he stands; then grasps his helt
still red VVith hostile gore, hut, shyddering, quits the
hold; And clasps in agony his hands—and cries, "Alas, my danghter! thou hast hrought me
low."— The timhrel at her rooted feet resounds.
THE CALL OF SAMUEL. 1. Sam. iii. 1—10.
In Israel's fane hy silent night,
The Lamp of God was hurning hright;