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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 coreless safety spread,
With arms enfolded, and dejected head,
Dreams o’er his 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
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 food,
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 filame 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 sun;
And wide and dark along th’ horizon red,
In sandy surge the rising desert spread.“
• Mark, Israel, mark !'-On that strange sight
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 helms and bucklers rough with
gold, Saw ye how swist 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
And stoled in white, those bražen whoels 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
Whom come ye forth to combat ?-warriors,
These flocks and herds—this faint and weary
Red 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 stood -
Nor bathed a fetlock in the nauseous flood-
He comes-their leader comes :-the man of
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 bills below.