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Moses: A Story of the Nile



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And left the ground as brown and bare as if a fire Had scorched it through, Then angry blains And fiery boils did blur the flesh of man And beast; and then for three long days, nor saffron Tint, nor crimson flush, nor soft and silvery light Divided day from morn, nor told the passage Of the hours; men rose not from their seats, but sat In silent awe. That lengthened night lay like a burden On the air,—a darkness one might almost gather In his hand, it was so gross and thick. Then came The last dread plague—the death of the first born. 'Twas midnight, And a startling shriek rose from each palace, Home and hut of Egypt, save the blood-besprinkled homes Of Goshen ; the midnight seemed to shiver with a sense Of dread, as if the mystic angels wing Had chilled the very air with horror. Death ! Death ! was everywhere—in every home A corpse—in every heart a bitter woe. There were anxious fingerings for the pulse That ne'er would throb again, and eager listenings For some sound of life—a hurrying to and fro Then burning kisses on the cold lips Of the dead, bitter partings, sad farewells, And mournful sobs and piercing shrieks,



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