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Moses: A Story of the Nile

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Essayed to write it out in stone, as cold And hard, and heartless as himself. And Israel was The fated race to whom the cruel tasks Were given. Day after day a cry of wrong And anguish, some dark deed of woe and crime Came to the ear of Moses, and he said, These reports are ever harrowing my soul; I will go unto the fields where Pharaoh's Officers exact their labors, and see If these things be so—if they smite the feeble At their tasks, and goad the aged on to toils Beyond their strength—if neither age nor sex Is spared the cruel smiting of their rods." And Moses went to see his brethren.

'Twas eventide, And the laborers were wending their way Unto their lowly huts. 'Twas a sad sight, The young girls walked without the bounding steps Of youth, with faces prematurely old, As if the rosy hopes and sunny promises Of life had never flushed their cheeks with girlish Joy ; and there were men whose faces seemed to say, We bear our lot in hopeless pain, we've bent unto Our burdens until our shoulders fit them, And as slaves we crouch beneath our servitude And toil. But there were men whose souls were cast In firmer moulds, men with dark secretive eyes, Which seemed to say, to day we bide our time,

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