Page images

Enquires not if the breast it means to pierce
Be friend or enemy.

Hush'd be thy fears.
Know, the destroying angel shall have charge
To spare God's favour'd people; to them also
The darkness shall be light, the night be day.
Then shall the harden'd monarch be dismay'd,
Shall vacillate, consent, forbid, resolve.
Thy son, the heav'n-taught guide, shall lead them

. forth,
And perjur'd Pharaoh be constrain’d to loose
The galling chain of slavery.

Blest event!
My country will be free, and my lov'd son
Jehovah's delegate! But why will God,
Supreme in mercy, harden the stern heart
Of the proud king ?

God hardens no man's heart.
'Tis not His work ; he does no more than leave it
To its own callous nature: if his grace
Be once withdrawn, the hard grows harder still.

Joc. As the withdrawing of the sun's warm beams, Leaving the chill wave to its natural temper, Congeals the liquid stream. Mir.

E'en so, my mother. Joc. Protect thy people, Lord, and spare my son. Mir. Ah! what successive scenes in order pass ! I see all Israel march. Ah, glorious vision ! Myriads ! A moving nation ! Moses leads. Here manly vigour marches in the van; There female weakness follows as it may: Here helpless childhood, there decrepid age !

Now they advance! patient, they cheer each other.
What do I see? tho' indistinct, I see it!
A moving pillar marches with our bands;
A pillar dark at noon, at midnight light :
By day a cloud to shade the fainting hosts,
By night a fire to guide them on their way.
Joc. Miriam ! thy visage changes. What alarms

Mir. Ah me! they move no longer, ocean stands
Direct in front, barrier invincible !
No friendly vessel to conduct them o'er.
What refuge now is left? for on their rear
Pharaoh and his vast hordes pursue their fight :
The sea before, the enemy behind,
And Pi-hahiroth's lofty mountains stand
Close on each side, impossible to scale.

Joc. Nothing remains. Mir.

Omnipotence remains.
They look before, behind, on either side ;
Where shall they turn for succour? -- they look up!
They look to Him to whom none look in vain.
The ocean stop them? No. It stops them not,
O prodigy ! what sights incredible
Crowd on my mental eye! Near and more near
The ranks are driv'n to seaward. () the transport!
The flood divides -- the parted waves recede !
A solid wall is formed on either side:
Firm, dry, and safe the intervening space.

Joc. But dare they venture on ?

Yes! they dare venture.
The fearless Hebrews trust the miracle :
With holy confidence their bands advance.
They find an easy passage through the deep -

They touch the farther shore. How loud their joy!
But still the foe pursues.

And have they 'scapill
The ocean's rage to fall by that of man?

Mir. Arm’d at all points sce Egypt's song advance! They reach the open passage. Joc.

All in lost.
Mir. But what suspends their progress? Something

stays them ;
Slow, and more slow, their lagging motion seeme.
Their chariot wheels drive heavily along.
They stop; they're moveless. Now, () ecstasy!
The refluent waters haste to meet again!
They close above their heads! Egypt, engulfedl,
Is lost to sight! — the rider and his horse
Together sink --- they sink they riso no more!

Joc. Can this be realis'd?

It can, it will. 'Tis great ; but great is He whose will controln it. Methinks I hear the shouts of victory, I hear triumphant Moses' grateful song! Thou art our strength, O Lord ! the work is thine. Thine is the power, and thine be all the praise ; Pharaoh is sunk -- his chariots and his host Plung'd in the dark abyss ! As lead they sank. To save the favour'd sons of Jacob's race, The flood, no longer liquid, stood congeal’d. The crystal wall stood firm, as Israel pass’d: When Egypt came, the crystal wall dissolv’d. Thou didst stretch forth Thy hand, and Moses pass'd; Thou didst stretch forth Thy hand, and Pharaoh sank. Lord ! who among the gods is like to Thee ?

Fearful in praises, wonderful in power,
Glorious in holiness ! thou great I am!
What mighty marvels Thy right hand has wrought!
Thy hand pre-eminent ! thou art my God,
And all I have is thine! My father's God!
Thy name I will exalt; 'tis Thou hast conquer'd.
See Pharaoh's captains perish with his host!
The horse and rider meet one common fate.
The depths have cover’d them: they sink together.
Vainly they boasted — “ Though the slaves escape,
Yet we will follow them, o'ertake, and crush them.”

Joc. How should a worm contend against his God?

Mir. Not Pharaoh, nor his captains ; not the sea, With all the perils of his roaring waves ; Not Pi-hahiroth's mountains capt with clouds, Can ought obstruct, while God is on our side. O let the nations hear, the heathen tremble, The people wail ; let Palestine go weep. Thou hast redeem'd thy chosen from the grasp Of hard oppression. Thou shalt bring them out, And firmly plant them in thy holy place. Thy purchas'd people shall inhabit there, The mount of thine inheritance ! Joc.

My daughter! Thy spirit sinks beneath the mighty impulse.

Mir. Again ! my mother! heard I not the shouts, The song of victory ? I too shall join it! Yes, Miriam's feeble voice shall aid the chorus, And swell the hymn of triumph. Israel's daughters With songs and timbrels shall prolong the strain.

Joc. 0. thy prophetic mind! what wonders fill it! Mir. This is not all. The wonder is to come!

This land of promise, wealthy Canaan's land,
Where Israel, after many a painful toil,
Shall finally have rest; this place of blessings
Only prefigures that eternal rest
Reserv'd for God's true servants, those who fought
The fight of faith on earth. Hear further wonders :
Moses, though great, is but the type of ONE
Far greater; ONE predestin'd to redeem
Not Israel only, but the human race ;
ONE who in after time shall rescue men,
Not from the body's slav'ry, the brief bondage
Of life and time; but who shall burst the chains
Which keep the soul enthrall’d, the chains of sin;
Shall free the captive from the galling yoke
Of Satan ; rescue from eternal death,
And finally restore, Man's ruin'd race.

Note. - The Author is fearful that she may be thought, in this last part, to have exceeded the bounds of poetical license. For though Miriam, in the chapter which contains the Song of Moses *, is called a prophetess; and though the prophet Micah, in his sixth chapter, speaks of Miriam as assisting jointly with her brothers, Moses and Aaron, in the redemption of Israel from captivity, yet we hear little or nothing of her elsewhere in her prophetic character.

* Exodus, chap. xv.


« PreviousContinue »