Of Arabia, and became a shepherd for the priest
Of Midian. But now, instead of leading flecks
And herds, he aspires to lead his captive race.
To freedom. These men mean mischief; sedition
And revolt are in their plans. Decree, I pray thee,
That these men shall gather their own straw
And yet their tale of bricks shall he the same."
And these words pleased Pharaoh well, and all his
Lords chimed in with one accord. And Pharaoh
Wrote the stern decree and sent it unto Goshen—
That the laborers should gather their own straw,
And yet they should not 'minish of their tale of bricks.
'Twas a sad day in Goshen ;
The king's degree hung like a gloomy pall
Around their homes. The people fainted 'neath
Their added tasks, then cried unto the king,
That he would ease their burdens; but he hissed
A taunt into their ears and said, "ye are
Idle, and your minds are filled with vain
And foolish thoughts ; get you unto your tasks,
And ye shall not 'minish of your tale of bricks."
And then they turned their eves
Reproachfully on Moses and his brother,
And laid the cruel blame upon their shoulders.
'Tis an old story now, but then 'twas new
Unto the brethren,—how God's anointed ones
Must walk with bleeding feet the paths that turn
To lines of living light; how hands that bring
Salvation in their palms are pierced with cruel