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Moses: A Story of the Nile



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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



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