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THE PASSAGE

OF

THE RED SEA.

With heat o'erlabored and the length of way,
On Ethan's beach the bands of Israel lay.
'T was silence all, the sparkling sands along,
Save where the locust trilled her feeble song,
Or blended soft in crowsy cadence fell
The wave's low whisper or the camel's bell.-
'T was silence all.—The flocks for shelter fly
Where, waving light, the acacia shadows lie,
Or where, from far, the flattering vapors make
The noontide semblance of a misty lake :
While the mute swain, in careless safety spread,
With arms enfolded, and dejected head,
Dreams o'er bis wondrous call, his lineage high,
And, late revealed, his children's destiny.
For, not in vain, in thraldom's darkest hour,

Had sped from Amram's sons the word of power, Nor failed the dreadful wand, whose god-like

sway Could lure the locust from her airy way, With reptile war assail their proud abodes, And mar the giant pomp of Egypt's gods. O helpless gods, who nought availed to shield From fiery rain your Zoan's favored field. O helpless gods, who saw the curdled blood Taint the pure lotus of your ancient flood, And fourfold-night the wondering earth enchain, While Memnon's orient harp was heard in vain. Such musings held the tribes, till now the west With milder influence on their temples pressed; And that portentous cloud which, all the day, Hung its dark curtain o'er their weary way, (A cloud by day, a friendly flame by night,) Rolled back its misty veil, and kindled into light. Soft fell the eve. But, ere the day was done, Tall, waving banners streaked the level suu; And wide and dark along th' horizon red, In sandy surge the rising desert spread.-. • Mark, Israel, mark!'-On that strange sight

intent, In breathless terror, every eye was bent, And busy faction's undistinguised hum,

And female shrieks arose, • They come, they

come!' They coine, they come, in scintillating show O'er the dark mass the brazen lances glow, And sandy clouds in countless shapes combine, As deepens or extends the long tumultuous line. And fancy's keener glance e'en now may trace The threatening aspects of each mingled race ; For many a coal-black tribe and cany spear, The hireling guards of Misraim's throne, were

there. From distant Cush they trooped, a warrior train, Siwah's green isle and Sennaar's marly plain : On either wing their fiery coursers check The parched and sinewy sons of Amalek : While close behind, inured to feast on blood, Decked in Behemoth's spoils, the tall Shangalla

strode. 'Mid blazing helins and bucklers rough with

gold, Saw ye how swift the scythed chariot rolled ? Lo, these are they whom, lords of Afric's fates, Old Thebes had poured through all her hundred

gates, Mother of armies. How the emeralds glowed, Where, flushed with power and vengeance, Pha

raoh rode;

And stoled in white, those brazen wheels before,
Osiris' ark his swarthy wizards bore,
And still responsive to the trumpet's cry
The priestly sistrum murmured-Victory ?-
Why swell these shouts that rend the desert's

gloom? Whom come ye forth to combat ?-warriors,

whom These flocks and herds—this faint and weary

trainRed from the scourge and recent from the chain? God of the poor, the poor and friendless save. Giver and Lord of freedom, help the slave.North, south, and west the sandy whirlwinds fly, The circling horns of Egypt's chivalry. On earth's last margin throng the weeping train; Their cloudy guide moves on :-- And must we

swim the main ? 'Mid the light spray their snorting camels stoodNor bathed a fetlock in the nauseous floodHe comes-their leader comes :-the man of

God O’er the wide waters lifts his mighty rod, And onward treads. The circling waves retreat, In hoarse deep murmurs, from his holy feet; And the chased surges, inly roaring, show The hard wet sand and coral hills below.

With limbs that falter, and with hearts that swell,
Down, down they pass—a steep and slippery dell
Around them rise, in pristine chaos hurled,
The ancient rocks, the secrets of the world;
And flowers that blush beneath the ocean green,
And caves, the sea-calves' low roofed haunt, are

seen.
Down, safely down the narrow pass they tread :
The beetling waters storm above their head :
While far behind retires the sinking day,
And fades on Edom's hills its latest ray.

Yet not from Israel fled the friendly light, Or dark to them, or cheerless came the night. Still in their van, along that dreadful road, Blazed broad and fierce the brandished torch of ! God. Its meteor glare a tenfold lustre gave On the long mirror of the rosy wave : While its blest beams a sunlike heat supply, Warm every cheek and dance in every eyeTo them alone--for Misraim's wizard train Invoke for light their monster-gods in vain : Clouds heaped on clouds their struggling sight

confine, And tenfold darkness broods above their line. Yet on they fare by reckless vengeance led, And range unconscious through the ocean's bed.

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