previous next

The New Exodus.

Written upon hearing that slavery had been formally abolished in Egypt. Unhappily, the professions and pledges of the vacillating government of Egypt proved unreliable.

by fire and cloud, across the desert sand,
     And through the parted waves, [349]
From their long bondage, with an outstretched hand,
     God led the Hebrew slaves!

Dead as the letter of the Pentateuch,
     As Egypt's statues cold,
In the adytum of the sacred book
     Now stands that marvel old.

‘Lo, God is great! ’ the simple Moslem says.
     We seek the ancient date,
Turn the dry scroll, and make that living phrase
     A dead one: ‘God was great! ’

And, like the Coptic monks by Mousa's wells,
     We dream of wonders past,
Vague as the tales the wandering Arab tells,
     Each drowsier than the last.

O fools and blind! Above the Pyramids
     Stretches once more that hand,
And tranceed Egypt, from her stony lids,
     Flings back her veil of sand.

And morning-smitten Memnon, singing, wakes;
     And, listening by his Nile,
O'er Ammon's grave and awful visage breaks
     A sweet and human smile.

Not, as before, with hail and fire, and call
     Of death for midnight graves,
But in the stillness of the noonday, fall
     The fetters of the slaves.

[350] No longer through the Red Sea, as of old,
     The bondmen walk dry shod;
Through human hearts, by love of Him controlled,
     Runs now that path of God!


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Memnon (1)
Ammon (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1856 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: