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Pharaoh, upon a gorgeous throne of state
Was seated; while around him stood submiss
His servants, watchful of his lofty looks.
The Patriarch enters, leaning on the arm
Of Benjamin. Unmoved by all the glare
Of royalty, he scarcely throws a glance
Upon the pageant show; for from his youth
A shepherd's life he led, and viewed each night
The starry host; and still where'er he went
He felt himself in presence of the Lord.
His eye is bent on Joseph, him pursues.
Sudden the king descends; and, bending, kneels
Before the aged man, and supplicates
A blessing from his lips: the aged man
Lays on the ground his staff, and, stretching forth
His tremulous hand o’er Pharaoh's uncrowned head,
Prays that the Lord would bless him and his land.
From conquest Jephtha came, with faultering step,
And troubled eye : His home appears in view;
He trembles at the sight. Sad he forebodes,
His vow will meet a victim in his child :
For well he knows, that, from her earliest years,
She still was first to meet his homeward steps:
Well he remembers, how, with tottering gait,
She ran, and clasped his knees, and lisped, and looked
Her joy; and how, when garlanding with flowers
His helm, fearful, her infant hand would shrink
Back from the lion couched beneath the crest.
What sound is that, which, from the palm-tree grove,
Floats now with choral swell, now fainter falls
Upon the ear? It is, it is the song
He loved to hear,-a song of thanks and praise,
Sung by the patriarch for his ransomed son.
Hope from the omen springs : 0, blessed hope !
It may not be her voice !-Fain would he think
'Twas not his daughter's voice, that still approached,
Blent with the timbrel's note. Forth from the grove
She foremost glides of all the minstrel band:
Moveless he stands; then grasps his hilt, still red
With hostile gore, but, shuddering, quits the hold;
And clasps, in agony, his hands, and cries,
Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me low.”.
The timbrel at her rooted feet resounds.
Deep was the furrow in the royal brow,
When David's hand, lightly as vernal gales
Rippling the brook of Kedron, skimmed the lyre:
of Jacob's youngest born,—the child
Of his old age,-sold to the Ishmaelite;
His exaltation to the second power
In Pharaoh's realm; his brethren thither sent;
Suppliant they stood before his face, well known,
Unknowing-till Joseph fell upon the neck
Of BENJAMIN, his mother's son,
Unconsciously the warlike shepherd paused;
But when he saw, down the yet-quivering string,
The tear-drop trembling glide, abashed, he checked,
Indignant at himself, the bursting flood,
And, with a sweep impetuous, struck the chords :
From side to side his hands transversely glance,
Like lightning thwart a stormy sea; his voice
Arises ʼmid the clang, and straightway calms
The harmonious tempest, to a solemn swell
Majestical, triumphant; for he sings
Of Arad's mighty host by Israel's arm
Subdued ; of Israel through the desart led,
He sings; of him who was their leader, called,
By God himself, from keeping Jethro's flock,
To be a ruler o'er the chosen race.
Kindles the eye of Saul; his arm is poised;-
Harmless the javelin quivers in the wall.