Nails, and lips that quiver first with some great truth
Are steeped in bitterness and tears, and brows
Now bright beneath the aureola of God,
Have bent beneath the thorny crowns of earth.
There was hope for Israel,
But they did not see the golden fringes
Of their coming morn ; they only saw the cold,
Grey sky, and fainted "neath the cheerless gloom.
Moses sought again the presence of the king
And Pharaoh's brow grew dark with wrath,
And rising up in angry haste, he said,
Defiantly, " If thy God be great, show
Us some sign or token of his power."
Then Moses threw his rod upon the floor,
And it trembled with a sign of life ;
The dark wood glowed, then changed into a thing
Of glistening scales and golden rings, and green,
And brown and purple stripes ; a hissing, hateful
Thing, that glared its fiery eye, and darting forth
From Moses' side, Iay coiled and panting
At the monarch's feet. With wonder open-eyed
The king gazed on the changed rod, then called
For his magicians—wily- men, well versed
In sinful lore—and bade them do the same.
And they, Ieagued with the powers of night, did
Also change their rods to serpents ; then Moses'
Serpent darted forth, and with a startling hiss
And angry gulp, he swallowed the living thing