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Moses: A Story of the Nile



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CHAPTER IV.

Men grow strong in action, but, in solitude Their thoughts are ripened. Like one who cuts away The bridge on which he has walked in safety To the other side, so Moses cut off all retreat To Pharaoh's throne, and did choose the calling Most hateful to an Egyptian ; he became A shepherd, and led his flocks and herds amid The solitudes and wilds of Midian, where he Nursed in silent loneliness his earnest faith In God and a constant love for kindred, tribe And race. Years stole o'er him, but they took No atom from his strength, nor laid one heavy weight Upon his shoulders. The down upon his face Had ripened to a heavy beard ; the fire That glowed within his youthful eye had deepened To a calm and steady light, and yet his heart Was just as faithful to his race as when he had Stood in Pharaoh's courts and bade farewell Unto his daughter. There was a look of patient waiting on his face, A calm, grand patience, like one who had lifted Up his eyes to God and seen, with meekened face, The wings of some great destiny o'ershadowihg All his life with strange and solemn glory. But the hour came when he must pass from thought To action,—when the hope of many years



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