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Title: The Hebrew Slave: In Eight Books with Other Poems

Date of first publication: 1833

Author: Anonymous (A Country Curate)

Date first posted: Feb. 20, 2021

Date last updated: Feb. 20, 2021

Faded Page eBook #20210276

This eBook was produced by: L. Harrison, David T. Jones, John Routh & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net






In Eight Books.






“But gentle sleepe envyde him any rest;

Instead thereof sad sorrow and disdaine

Of his hard hap did vexe his noble brest

And thousand fancies bett his ydle brayne

With their light wings, the sights of semblants vaine.”

Spencer’s Faerie Queene.









Crane Court, Fleet Street.










The Hebrew Slave.
Book I.
Book II.
Book III.
Book IV.
Book V.
Book VI.
Book VII.
Book VIII.
Dove Dale, Derbyshire
Paraphrase of the Fifth Chapter of the Lamentations of Jeremiah
Away, my little Bark!
Lines suggested by the loss of the Rothsay Castle, Steam Packet
False and true Patriotism
To the Ocean


Nec fonte labra prolui Caballino,

Nec in bicipiti somniâsse Parnasso

Memini, ut repente sic Poëta prodirem.

Heliconidasque pallidamque Pirenen

Illis remitto, quorum imagines lambunt

Hederæ sequaces.


Persius Flaccus.


I ne’er have trod on classic ground,

Nor, favour’d by the Muse, have found

    Pyrene’s sacred fount;

Nor with a poet’s ardent fire

Awoke to harmony the lyre,

    On fam’d Parnassian mount.


To those whose brows the poet’s bays

Entwine I leave, with polish’d lays,

    To charm the fickle throng;

Who seek to celebrate their name,

Encircled with the wreath of Fame,

    Immortaliz’d by song.


But I, the humblest vot’ry of the Nine,

My tribute bring to Virtue’s shrine,

    An altar to her raise;

Record in strains of lowly song

What lasting joys to her belong—

    An off’ring to her praise.


No theme is mine of martial deed—

No tale of vaunting vict’ry’s meed,

    Bestow’d on warrior bold;

Nor song of glorious chivalry,

Of border battle or foray,

    By roving minstrels told.


Humble my verse, and unadorn’d;

I ween, by prouder spirits scorn’d;

    A simple past’ral tale,

Of shepherds’ deed—of shepherds’ wile—

Of noble worth—of hateful guile—

    Whilom in Hebron’s vale.









Joseph is sent by his Father from the vale of Hebron to inquire concerning his Brethren’s welfare. He arrives at the vale of Shechem, where it had been told they fed their flocks, but there he finds them not. He is directed by a stranger to Dothan, whither he proceeds in search of them. His Brethren perceive his approach, and, excited by envy, determine to destroy him. Reuben, one of his brothers, anxious to save him from their malice, counsels them to cast him into a pit; intending secretly to take him thence, and to restore him to his Father. The Brethren comply with his advice, and cast Joseph into a deep pit or chasm, near to the place where they tend their flocks.



From Arbah’s grove,[1] in Hebron’s lovely plain,

Where Peace and Plenty held their happy reign,

Forth from his Sire the youthful Joseph went,

On messages of kind affection sent,

Hast’ning to learn his absent brethren’s weal,

While through his spirit fond affections steal.

His young heart jocund with the gentle glow

Of health, quick as the arrow from the bow

He sped him gaily o’er the vernal green,

As fair a youth as in that land was seen.

The land of Canaan, now full widely famed

For deeds and men in Holy Scripture named—

The land of promise, oft prophetic told,

Which Israel’s sons by sacred grant should hold;

A region fair—a fruitful, genial soil,

Teeming with honey, wine, and flowing oil;

Where sweetest fruits of rich and varied hue

Spontaneous in great abundance grew.

The stage it was of nobler doings far,

Than all the deeds of choicest heroes are;

The land where first intelligence was given

Of man redeem’d from Hell—made heir of Heaven.

’Twas o’er those lands the youthful Joseph came,

Whose soul no envy knew, nor thirst of fame,

Nor cursed love of gold, nor sordid gain,

Nor proud Ambition fed with blood and pain.

Then, as he hasten’d through the woodland dale,

Anon he came to Shechem’s pleasant vale—

Report had told his brethren tarried there—

And there he sought them with a brother’s care.

Amid the rocks, and o’er the hills he sought

The shepherd band; while often busy thought,

With forms illusive, pictured to his sight

The sportive kids upon some craggy height,

The bleating lambs, and flocks of fleecy sheep,

While o’er their charge the brothers vigil keep.

Illusions all! fond Fancy’s wayward wiles,

Deluding oft with empty treach’rous smiles.

His friends he sought, but seeking, could not find—

Perplexing doubt possess’d his anxious mind.

With tearful eye, and palpitating fear,

In Shechem’s fields he wander’d far and near;

Forebodings drear and sad began to dart

Their barbed arrows through his aching heart.[2]

But, lo! a stranger pass’d along that way;

That instant, Hope, with her inspiring ray

Illumed his soul, and chased the gloomy lour

Of darksome grief with her consoling power.

His heart, with love and holiness imbued,

With gratitude the passing stranger viewed;

His buoyant soul, responsive to its charm,

Superior rose above each vain alarm;

His mind, ingenuous, recogniz’d a friend,

And grateful prayers of piety ascend

To Heaven; for Joseph well had learn’d

His God to fear; and readily discern’d

His heav’nly Father’s tender, watchful hand

Outstretch’d to guard him in a lonely land.

And oft old Jacob’s lips his son had taught,

And lur’d to holiness each pliant thought:

His father’s God he sought the youth to show—

His father’s God he pray’d the lad might know.

Estrang’d from folly’s paths, his youthful mind

In wisdom’s ways of pleasantness was train’d:

And so it was—the lovely Joseph grew

In stature and in grace, to virtue true.


With visage mild and tender accents, now

The stranger kind inquired, “what seekest thou?”

And strange, indeed, it were, could he withstand

The gentle mien, the winning aspect bland—

The anxious look—the trembling, tearful eye—

The throbbing breast—the heaving, deep-drawn sigh—

The trem’lous words of love that softly fell

From lips that scarce the tale of grief could tell.

In plaintive strains the wand’ring youth began

T’ address the list’ning, pitying, stranger man:—

“I seek my brethren; tell me where, I pray,

They feed their flocks? O, kindly show the way!

By which pursuing I may haply ken

The flocks and herds in dell or woodland glen—

Which, tended by my brothers’ cheerful care,

With them I may behold in safety there.”

And straight the stranger felt his melting soul

Full kindly yield to pity’s soft controul;

In friendly sort he soothed the wand’rer’s grief,

Responding words of peace in accents brief:—

“They are departed hence; I pass’d this way

Before, and passing, heard them say,

To Dothan let us go—for, haply, there

Choice herbage we may find and pastures fair.”

Young Joseph, grateful, thank’d his courteous guide,

And by that path his way he quickly hied,

Thus opportunely pointed to his eye;

Which straight pursued would briefly bring him nigh

To Dothan’s plains, where he might fain behold

His father’s sons—their flocks in peaceful fold.

His tears were dried—his fears were hush’d to peace—

His sad forebodings and his sorrows cease;

Anticipations sweet his soul possess’d,

And banish’d grief and anguish from his breast.

He gaily spurn’d the mossy sun-burnt sod;

His heart unwarp’d by guile—the child of God;

Nor dream’d he, as he lightly sped along,

Of cruel ill or undeserved wrong.

His gentle spirit, as an Angel’s fair,

But little knew of grief or carking care;

Nor thought he, as the brakes he sped among,

Of dangers thick that o’er his pathway hung—

A path it was by boundless prescience giv’n—

A path determin’d by the King of Heav’n;

Nor mused he, as he trod the grassy mead,

Of great events in embryo deeply hid.

Oh! little do frail erring mortals know

How mighty ends from small beginnings flow!

Or how the present hour of grief and pain

May prove the road to true abiding gain!


Meanwhile the Patriarch’s sons pursued their toil,

And drove their flocks to Dothan’s verdant soil;

Their bleating charge they staidly guided there,

And found rich meads and fruitful pastures fair.

Then, ’mid sweet shades and streams of tuneful rill,

They careful guard their tender lambs from ill;

Anon restore each sportive wand’rer there,

And kindly tend it with a shepherd’s care.

Ah! blissful would such past’ral life have been,

Had their hearts never known the stain of sin!

Alas! no state, no station here below

Can bar access to human guilt and woe!


Now on the summit of a hill espied,

They see the lad approach, full well descried

By coat of many brilliant colours wove,

The valued pledge of Jacob’s tender love.

“Behold! this dreamer comes!” the brethren cry,

While through their hearts black Envy’s passions fly;

That baneful pest, which erst in days of yore

Enthrall’d the soul of Cain with hellish pow’r;

Which led him on to deeds of damning guilt,

Till Abel’s blood, by elder brother spilt,

Aloud demanded vengeance on the head

Of him by whom th’ empurpled stream was shed.

Alas! that in the heaven-born human mind

Such hateful passions e’er should entrance find!

But, oh! those guilty, dark affections flow

From sin, the source of “death and all our woe!”

’Twas thence the sombre tide of guilt roll’d on,

Transmitted from the parent to the son;

’Twas thence to men those cruel lusts were given

Which darken earth with crime and outrage heaven.


Now in their souls such vengeful passions brood

As seek in deeds of blood their proper food;

Grim Jealousy and all her filthy train,

Foul authors they of tears and racking pain,

Which vomit forth pestiferous streams, that flow

With turbid waves of grief and sick’ning woe.

Foremost among the base Tartarian crew

There Envy stalks with front of pallid hue,

And spiteful hurls her fierce envenom’d shafts

Of cruel hatred through the wrathful hearts

Of Jacob’s sons; who now, in conclave vile,

Their souls with dark designs of blood defile.

And thus, with counsel stern, the murd’rous clan,

To shed their brother’s blood, devise the plan:

“This silly fool, this vain and idle pest,

In colour’d garb of fond affection drest,

Shall from his dreaming fancies quickly cease,

And in the silent cavern rest in peace.

So shall the future rolling moments tell,

If these his boasted visions omen’d well—

Those empty dreams of might and lordly pow’r

Which oft in by-gone times of leisure hour

He lov’d to tell, with foolish fond parade,

By cheerful hearth or fragrant hawthorn shade;

And when our Sire his pet-boy’s loss complains,

We’ll show his coat bedew’d with purple stains

Of slaughter’d sheep, or gore of bleeding kid.

The dreamer slain—his carcase safely hid

In deep abyss of yonder darksome dell—

No tale of boding visions more shall tell.

Our Father’s mind with strong persuasion fill’d

Shall e’en believe his Son by monster kill’d—

By beasts of prey that haunt the forest den,

And fiercely oft invade the haunts of men.”

Such counsel giv’n, they hoarsely each respond

Assent; and frowning stern, conclude the bond.

The Prince of Hell triumphant, held them all

In cords of crime and chains of guilty thrall.

Save one who, Reuben nam’d, full keenly felt

His heart, subdued by tender pity, melt.

And straight he sought, with words of mercy mild,

To save the life of Jacob’s darling child;

And fain would Joseph to his Sire restore,

By praiseful craft, deliver’d from the pow’r

Of cruel brethren fired by passion, rife

With lust of bloody deed and deadly strife.

“Let us not kill him,” anxious Reuben said;

“By brother’s hands O let not blood be shed!

Behold, o’ergrown with brakes, a cavern, cleft

By earthquakes fierce, with gulf terrific left—

Concealed there, his limbs securely bound,

By him from thence shall egress ne’er be found;

So shall our hands from stain of blood be free,

And we no more this dreaming boy shall see.”

Their caution thus, but not their pity’s mov’d,

And Reuben’s counsel is by each approv’d.

But Reuben this with prudent cunning spake,

Designing thence the injur’d youth to take.

What time the night with gloom the earth o’erspreads

And draws her sable curtain o’er the heads

Of weary mortals, who in soft repose

Indulge forgetfulness of human woes—

Then purpos’d he, conceal’d from hostile sight

The youth to rescue from malignant spite.


While thus the jealous friends resolv’d upon

Such direful plots, young Joseph hasten’d on;

Affection gave fresh beauty to his charms,

As, moved by tender love, he spread his arms

And sought with eager fondness to embrace,

And pleas’d to kiss his elder brother’s face.

Ah me! the monster stern, the youth repell’d,

Another fierce, him fill’d with horror held.

The trembling lad astonish’d and appall’d,

In vain on hearts of flint for pity call’d:

In vain each winning, fond endearment tried—

Their hearts of flint the soft appeal defied.

In vain he sought with piteous look to show

The anguish which his bosom pierced through;

To tell of all their parent’s anxious care—

What messages of love had brought him there.

His frantic cries of terror loud resound—

But then, alas! no helping hand was found.

In vain his mournful plaints divide the air—

No pitying friend brought timely succour there.

Their hearts were changed to Adamantine stone,

Nor feelings knew they, save dark hate alone.

But Reuben’s soul was then most sorely rent—

Resentment through his throbbing bosom went;

But prudence bade him then his wrath restrain,

And ’monish’d him resistance would be vain.

With firm resolve did they pursue their plan,

And straight with savage violence began

From him his divers-colour’d coat to strip,

And in the blood of slaughter’d kids to dip.

With cruel thongs his lovely limbs they bind—

His streaming eyes with dark’ning bandage blind;

With uptorn turf his tender mouth they gag,

And to the yawning pit him fainting drag;

With cords let down his youthful body there,

And consummate their task with fiendish care.










Their nefarious project accomplished, the Brethren retire to a neighbouring grove, where they regale themselves with viands and fruits. Joseph in the pit impetrates deliverance. A thunder-storm ensues, by which a party of Midianitish merchants journeying to Egypt, are driven to the same place for shelter. To them, at the instigation of Judah, the Brethren sell Joseph for thirty pieces of silver.


When loathsome guilt hath spread its dark controul,

Blasting with direful pow’r the human soul,

How soon, from thence each better feeling barr’d,

The heart becomes than Parian rock more hard;

Each passion mild, with warm affection fill’d,

Forsakes the breast, by hate infernal chill’d;

There demons foul an easy entrance find,

And banish thence ought merciful or kind.

’Twas thus, with spirits fierce, remorseless, stern,

The brethren from the fatal cavern turn;

Unpitying, leave their guileless victim there,

The prey of sick’ning fear and biting care.


Hard by a pleasant wood exuberant grew,

And thither they with hasty steps withdrew;

A lovely spot it was, with shady bow’r,

Inviting soft, at noon-tide’s scorching hour,

The weary traveller, who passing by

With lagging step, might its blest shade draw nigh—

Full pleased, while journeying through a weary land,

To find a place of rest and covert bland,

Where, underneath o’erhanging palms reclined,

He should, “tired Nature’s sweet restorer find”—

In gentle rest, beguile the tedious hour,

With balmy sleep recruit th’ exhausted pow’r

Of harass’d limbs, that so, his strength renew’d,

His way with vigour fresh might be pursued.


There beauteous palms, and cedars tall and fair,

Their foliage spread with verdure past compare;

And other trees of rich and splendid mien,

With pleasing shrubs enrob’d in brightest green—

And myrtle trees and tender saplings grew

Luxuriant, delightful to the view;

In truth, it seem’d the favourite retreat

Of blooming Nature, who had fixed her seat

In that sweet spot, and exercised her skill,

Its mossy bed with rarest plants to fill;

And tasteful Flora, too, had chosen there

To furnish tokens of her choicest care:

There beauteous buds and blooming flow’rs were found,

With colours soft and richest hues adorn’d;

Such lines, as all the pow’rs of mortal art,

With facile cunning skill can ne’er impart—

Such as in gayest splendour far excel

The pomp of those who ’mid proud courtiers dwell,

In palaces of kings among the great,

Who, decked with pride, appear in glorious state.

The lovely rose, the snow white lily too,

And striped tulip there spontaneous grew,

And balmy scents and fragrant perfumes breathe,

While round the clust’ring boughs fair garlands wreathe;

With other flowers in Flora’s train that shine,

And, eloquent, their Maker’s love divine

Proclaim to man with gentle winning voice,

And bid him with a grateful song rejoice—

With glowing heart and pious soul, to raise

The holy sacrifice of prayer and praise

To Him whose providence on every side

Doth for his pleasure such rich stores provide—

With kind and lib’ral hand diffusing round,

Blessings untold with choicest mercies crown’d.


Within such bright enamouring retreat

The brethren find a calm delightful seat,

By sloping banks and gentle hillocks made,

With velvet moss and flowerets array’d.

There nect’rine balms absorb th’ enraptur’d sense,

And spicy odours rich delights dispense;

Whilst over all, tall cedars cast their shade,

Forming with clust’ring boughs a broad arcade—

An august canopy of tow’ring height,

Fantastical in form, a splendid sight

Of colours warm, and lovely silver hues,

And golden tints which balmy light diffuse.

Beneath such grove sublime, the brethren there

A tranquil covert find—and straight prepare

With flesh of slaughter’d kids a rich repast—

The flocks meanwhile in fold secure made fast.

As yet their consciences unblench’d, and sear’d,

Felt no remorse, no retribution fear’d;

Dark louring frowns their sturdy brows o’ercast,

And mournfully with Nature’s smiles contrast;

Her beauteous form in sunny brightness drest,

Serv’d but the more their guilt to manifest.

And while mild radiance spreads delight around,

Nought save chill gloom and sullen wrath are found

In their stern visage, darken’d o’er with guile—

Fierce scowling rage and envious passions vile.

While thus old Jacob’s son’s, embower’d in shade,

Their rich repast with full libations made,

Of gen’rous wines which from the vintage flow,

Or juice of palms that on Mount Lib’nus grow,

Or feast on fruits of fair inviting hue,

Which round their bower in great abundance grew,

Young Joseph, hidden in the dismal den,

With ruminations sad his moments then

Foreboding spent, while prospects drear impart

A leaden sadness to his sorrowing heart:

But neither did his well-taught mind forego

Those comforts sweet which from religion flow;

Though bound in cords, enthrall’d in darkness there,

He thus preferr’d to heaven his artless pray’r:


  “O thou, the mourner’s friend! enthron’d on high!

God of my Fathers, pitying, now draw nigh!—

O listen to an helpless captive’s call,

And kind regard a youth in fearful thrall!

Forgive my brothers’ undeserved spite—

Put far their guilt from thy most holy sight.

To me, O gracious Father! shortly send

Thy ready help—thy feeble child defend

From causeless hate—and to my Sire restore

Me, sav’d from death by thine Almighty power.”

With pleadings thus the youthful captive pray’d—

And, meanwhile, Reuben from his brethren stray’d—

Kind sympathies their generous power impart,

And breathe soft pity through his anxious heart;

His spirit yearn’d with strong desire to save

His injured brother from the loathsome grave,

Where, doom’d by Envy’s monstrous hate to lie,

He might with ling’ring pain and hunger die.

And as with hasty step he speeds his way,

He firm resolves, when night should shroud the day

In sombrous gloom and friendly stillness—then

To rescue Joseph from the hateful den.


Meanwhile, the sun’s o’ercast with sickly gloom,

And gath’ring clouds presage a coming storm;

The feather’d race for refuge, trembling, fly—

With plaintive wails bespeak the tempest nigh.

While mournful sighs, responsive to the gale,

And murm’rings sad fall pensive down the vale.

Now Heaven’s artilleries their thunders roll,

Reverberating loud from pole to pole;

The lurid glares of light’ning fiercely fly,

And dart they forked lances through the sky,

Commixed the hail, and rain, and darkness drear—

The total wreck of nature seemeth near.

Terrific blasts contend with fierce turmoil,

With frantic wrath doth all creation boil:

The blasted cedars headlong crashing fall,

And chilling fear congeals the hearts of all.


While thus the fitful blasts their wrath engage,

And agitate scar’d Nature with their rage—

Spreading dire consternation o’er the land,

And guilty terror through the shepherd band—

Behold! approaching on th’ adjoining plain,

In search of refuge from the storm, a train

Of Midianitish men—who, passing by,

Were to the grove for shelter led to fly;

Whence Jacob’s sons beneath the wide-spread tree,

Th’ approaching Midianitish merchants see—-

Who then to Egypt’s land their journey made,

In balm, and myrrh, and spicery to trade.

Soon with old Israel’s sons, the merchants rang’d,

Beneath the friendly covert—they exchang’d

Familiar conversation; and while there,

The purpose of their journeying declare.


And now the storm its wrath began t’ abate,

While thus the trav’llers with the shepherds sate,

The lightning’s glare, the thunder’s pealings cease—

The tempest’s ireful strife is hushed to peace.

The cheerful light restored, in lucent smiles

Each budding sunny ray the gloom beguiles,

Resplendent beaming—louring shadows spurns,

And Nature to her wonted rest returns.

Then Judah with his guilty partners spake,

And counsel’d from the pit, the youth to take

In jesuitic self-deceit began,

With cunning, thus to tell his odious plan:

“If Joseph now by hunger death attain,

Or we our hands by blood fraternal stain,

What mighty vantage shall from hence accrue,

Or what of profit to ourselves ensue?

What if his youthful limbs by violence bleed,

And deepest secrecy e’er veil the deed?

‘He is our brother’—offspring of our sire;

‘He is our flesh’—let’s banish fell desire

Of life! He, to these Gentile merchants sold,

No more our Father’s dwelling shall behold—

The doings of to-day shall ne’er disclose,

Nor mar with boding visions our repose!”


The brethren, having told themselves content

With Judah’s counsel, to the cavern went;

Then from the pit the trembling captive take,

And with the Midianites foul contract make—

For cursed pelf their helpless victim sell—

For whom the merchants twenty pieces tell;

Which they, the sordid price of liberty,

Remorseless, take with foul complacency.


Ah! then a piteous spectacle ensued

Which might to tenderness a flint have woo’d;

The guileless suff’rer, loosen’d from his bands,

Most movingly, with supplicating hands,

For mercy sought, from heartless beings, who

Nor pity felt, nor soft relentings knew.

They heeded not the tears which then were seen

Roll down his cheeks like drops of pearly sheen;

The bitter cries, the mournful plaints, which fell

From budding lips that seemed form’d to tell

The tender tale of love, or fear’s alarm,

With winning force and mild subduing charm—

Each vainly fell, like strokes on empty air:

His look of love, his aspect meek and fair,

Could not their fierce and angry wrath assuage,

But served the more to aggravate their rage.

With firm resolve the victim-boy they gave,

To pine in foreign lands, a wretched slave—

Expell’d from tender Sire, depress’d and lone,

To pass a toilful life, unpitied and unknown.

In such base subterfuge they thought to find

A balm to tranquilize the conscious mind,

Which, spite of strongest efforts, oft will dart

Her sharp compunctions through the stricken heart:

From blood they sought to keep their conscience free,

Yet scrupled not, to toil and misery

Their unoffending brother to consign—

The child of innocence and grace benign!










Joseph is borne away a captive by the Midianites. The evening overspreads the earth, and Reuben, concealed from observation by its friendly shades, hastens to the pit to rescue Joseph from captivity. His anxiety and terror on finding the pit empty, and his distress and apprehension concerning the probable fate of his Brother. The morning’s dawn; and Reuben’s angry interview with his Brethren.


Their cursed work the Brethren now had done;

The merchants, too, their journey had begun;

Their captive prize secured, they straight pursue

Their destin’d way, beyond the shepherds’ view.

Who now forthwith their ev’ning tents prepare,

Their flocks in fold penn’d up with past’ral care.


Anon the setting sun began to lave

His fading lustre in the ocean’s wave:

His rays declining, cast a gentle gleam

Athwart the sky, and spread a lovely stream

Of colours soft, and sweetly variegate;

E’en such as Iris fair would decorate

The heavens with, when she should spread her bow,

Refulgent with the warm and brightsome glow

Of blue and azure tints mix’d with vermilion,

Hung richly smiling in the world’s pavillion.


Now ev’ning shades declare the hour of rest,

The woodland songster hastens to his nest;

A pleasure-breathing, peace-inspiring calm

Pervades the slumb’ring earth, and spreads a balm

Which soothes the spirits harass’d with the fears

And toils of busy day, and sweetly cheers

The wearied, anxious mind, toss’d to and fro

On troublous tides of human grief and woe—

On storms that from this wayward state arise,

And fill the soul with doubt and dark surmise.


Such is the peaceful, dear, delicious hour,

When baser passions hush’d, the blessed pow’r

Of better feelings spreads its mild control

Around the willing, yielding, captive soul,

And lures the thoughts to Virtue’s gentle ways,

Where Wisdom gilds the scene with brightest rays;

Which, lighted at a pure and heavenly fire,

Illume the soul with holiest desire

From ways of guilt and sinfulness to turn,

And with blest Piety’s pure ardour burn.


Lo! ’tis the pleasing time of stilly night,

And not a sound is heard beside the slight

Whisperings of the Zephyrs, gently shed

Amid the foliage, which doth, murm’ring, spread

Soft music, most bewitching symphony,

In dulcet strains of sweetest minstrelsy;

Or, save the lowing of the distant herd,

Falling adown the rocky glen, and heard

In soften’d sound; or, perhaps, the bleating sheep

Doth utter forth a mild complaint, from sleep

Awaken’d by the little playful lamb,

Too roughly gamb’ling o’er its slumb’ring dam;

Or, ever and anon, the lovely song

Of th’ ev’ning bird may haply wend along

With breezes that, in playful pleasantry,

Sporting amid the trees, make melody,

Which, breathing perfumes bland, do sweetly mingle

Soft fragrant odours in the woodland dingle;

Or, perhaps, the rural lover doth essay

A madrigal or passion-tune to play,

On oaten pipe, endeavouring thus to tell

His tender tale to her he loves so well:

And so his music sailing on the breeze,

Doth echo ’mid the gently waving trees,

Whose shadows, falling in the moonlight beam

In forms fantastical, may dimly gleam,

Like airy spirits, waking soft delight,

Seraphic cadence, to the list’ning night—

Who, leaving their celestial dwellings, then

May choose to sport amid the haunts of men.

’Tis sweet, at such an hour, to turn aside

From all the toilsome wand’rings which betide

This changing, checquer’d life, and ever fill

The soul with sick’ning grief and darksome ill;

To put off carking care until the morrow,

And for awhile to part with gloomy sorrow;

’Mid balmy sweets of dewy vernal slopes,

Deck’d with each budding floweret that opes

Its wooing lips, and courts the ling’ring bee,

With spicy stores, mellifluous bribery,

To listen to the fairy sounds that tell

Of distant sea and plashy ocean cell,

Where tranquil waves in languid eddies play

Along the margin of some noiseless bay;

To soothe the fever of the troubled mind

With the blest coolness of the Zephyr’s kind;

To mark the shining meteor that flies

Across the canopy of studded skies;

To muse on passing clouds fantastical,

Assuming shapes and forms romantical—

Of towering battlements and turret heights,

And mountains huge, and strange stupendous sights:

But sweeter still to lead th’ enraptured soul

Beyond the limits of the starry pole,

With gratitude and veneration to adore

The God who form’d them by his mighty pow’r;

Who from the void of chaos first did call

Them into being, and now governs all—

With boundless wisdom over all presides,

And with unerring skill their lot decides.


’Tis midnight now. Throughout the shepherds’ camp

A tranquil stillness reigns—the silv’ry lamp

Of Heav’n hangs glistening with chasten’d light,

Tinging the fleecy clouds with snowy white,

And dropping soft betimes a gentle ray

Of beamy, smiling radiance on the way,

Which, winding through th’ entangled thicket, brought

To that dark cavern’d den where Reuben thought

To find the captive boy imprison’d, bound—

The rock his pillow, and his bed the ground.


With strong solicitude and kind intention,

And anxious care and eager circumspection,

Then Reuben trod among each brake and briar,

Urged onward by affection’s strong desire;

While often empty shadows, flickering, go

Across his path, like to some hostile foe

Approaching, unpropitiously, to thwart

The object which lay nearest to his heart.

And sometimes, too, the gushing of the breeze,

Breaking with sudden clamour through the trees,

Would make his bosom palpitate with fear,

Lest comers, adverse to his cause, drew near.

At intervals, the hoarse and distant note

Of watchful dog, might indistinctly float

Upon the murm’ring winds which breathed among

The airy waving foliage, and rung

A strangeful peal of mix’d, unearthly sounds,

Which fertile Fancy, who all times abounds

In strong credulity, might perhaps create

Into embodied forms and animate;

That haunting woods and forests in the night,

Might keep their vigils by the pale moonlight.


In truth, a multitude of fancies then

Disturbed Reuben, hast’ning through the glen;

For even then, as now, the human mind

Held vain belief of ghosts, with superstition blind:

And so the little bird retired to rest,

And slumb’ring softly in its downy nest,

Rous’d by the invading wand’rer, might fling

A din obstrep’rous, with its flapping wing,

Across the path, and Reuben’s bosom fill

With transient awe of near impending ill.

And sometimes, too, awhile his steps he stay’d,

Amazed—aghast—when o’er his pathway stray’d

Some bounding coney from its covert rous’d,

To such strange visitor before unused.

Now, ever and anon, the flickering beam

Of distant glow-worm, or the transient gleam

Of Luna playing on the dewy leaf

Of bending palm trees, with continuance brief,

To his imagination would appear

Like torches borne by men, and drawing near;

With such diversified and vain creation

Did Reuben torture his imagination;

And thus congealing fear and dolorous dread

Their chilling influence o’er his spirit spread,

Filling his throbbing heart with vain affright

Of empty forms thus conjur’d to his sight.


Now, spite of all such fear and false alarm,

Reuben, unhinder’d, and unscath’d by harm,

To the dark, lonely, frowning cavern came,

His feelings buoyant with the hallow’d flame

Of pure affection, sacred love divine,

A shining taper lit at Virtue’s shrine,

Whose beams spread o’er his soul a gentle smile,

Waking abhorrence of that odious guile

Which, cursed as the craft begot in hell,

His brothers’ spirits ruled with a foul spell,

Wrought and infused by those dire Sisters who

Administer to human guilt and woe.[3]


But, oh! what mortal tongue can well declare

The sick’ning agony and black despair

Which cast their blighting, with’ring influence through

His bursting heart, and shed a pallid hue—

(A hue such as the clay-cold carcase wears

When done for aye with earthly joys or cares)—

O’er all his countenance, and silent told

What a deep weight of woe had fix’d its hold,

Relentless, on his soul, when the dread worst

Reality of boding fear had burst

Upon him then, like the fierce light’ning’s blight,

Shrouding life’s sunshine in lethiferous night.


Lo! now a thousand strange surmises fill

His mind with anguish, and his bosom thrill

With tortures such as deadly vipers leave,

When round the hapless wand’rer’s limbs they weave

Their fatal, venom’d involutions, and

With pois’nous bite the quiv’ring members brand.


Now fruitful Fancy brings before his sight

The captive Joseph, taken in the night,

By fratricidal hands;—the cruel knife

Engored and glutted with the victim’s life.

Anon, his palpitating limbs he sees

Quiv’ring in blood, in death’s sad agonies;

By savage beasts and rav’nous monsters torn,

His soul breath’d forth in one long dismal groan.

Dark writhing dread, and direst horror, now,

Like flaming fire, fall on his burning brow;

Appall’d, he turns, the path he treads again,

And, reckless, onward hastes to Dothan’s plain.


Eftsoons the slumb’rous shades begin to fly

From off the bosom of the waking sky;

Bright Phœbus spreads his rainbow colours, seen

To smile deliciously through orient sheen,

And shedding o’er th’ extended world below

Soft golden hues, that glist’ning, sparkling, glow

In radiant streamlets, such as cast around

Rich light and life, with gayest splendour crown’d;

And while his rays ambrosial fall among

The dewy leaves, with pearly tear-drops hung,

Those tears are dried, most sweetly kiss’d away,

By each kind, loving, smiling, sunny ray.

Then Nature, charm’d, all sadness lays aside,

And, robed in brilliant garb, appears a bride,

All gloriously adorn’d with gorgeous show

Of rarest flowers, and tints of warmest glow;

The woods are vocal, and the shady grove

Resounds the notes and breathes the air of love;

Creation tunes her lyre; the mountains sing;

With soft response the gladden’d valleys ring:

The works of God their lofty pæans raise,

And utter forth a glorious song of praise.

But e’en ’mid such blest loveliness and joy

The clouds of loathsome guilt shed dark alloy;

And crimes of fallen men do overcast

Such Eden sweetness with a cursed blast

Of fierce and dark unhallow’d tempers, rife

With foul, unholy hate and deadly strife:

Thus, scowling, stood the shepherds there—what time

The sun smiled on them at his hour of prime.

No orison they raised to God on high,

The wise arbiter of their destiny.

Oh! why, before him do they not bow down,

His goodness to adore? Oh! why that frown

Of sullen sadness o’er their visage spread—

The index of a soul oppress’d with dread!

Oh! while sweet Nature joyous, loudly sings,

Why sing they not? or while she freely brings

Her fragrant offerings of grateful praise,

Why do not they, too, their thanksgivings raise

To him who crowns their life with every good—

With mercies given in boundless plenitude?

This, this, alas! the reason is: because

The first and chiefest of heav’n’s holy laws

Their wicked, guilty hands have sternly broken;

While thus their downcast, louring looks betoken

The outrage of that precept from above,

The primal, great command—the Law of Love.


Reuben, meanwhile, emerging from the brakes,

His way towards his guilty Brethren makes;

Distraction in his eye, his brow o’ercast

With gloomy tokens of the moments past;

His garb with briars and thorns all tangled o’er,

His visage sad, and pale with terror’s lour;

With piteous wails, and frantic, troubled air,

He utters forth the accents of despair:—

“Joseph is not; and whither shall I go?”

While briny tears in gushing streamlets flow;

His frame convulsed, his feelings past controul,

Bespeak the anguish of a wounded soul.

Now, stern reproaches, mix’d with vain complaint,

Burst from his quiv’ring lips without restraint.

Wond’ring at what they see, the shepherd band,

Aghast, perplex’d, astonish’d, round him stand.

Anon his brother Simeon spake: “How now!

What farce is this thou play’st?—why is thy brow

Distorted by such vain grimace?—or why

T’ impose with such vain subterfuges try?

See, now, the silly fool would fain pretend

Him guileless of the deed that’s done—the friend

And lover of that dreaming pest, whom he

Deservedly abhorr’d not less than we.

Brethren, full well, I ween, ye each remember

The counsel which this cunning, vain pretender

Gave only yesterday; and, pray ye say

If this deceit become him well to-day?”

Such words the more increase their scorn and ire,

And heap fresh fuel on the angry fire

Of mingled passions kindling with such rage

As those fierce warring elements engage,

Which, uncongenial, Nature doth entomb

In some volcano’s deep infernal womb;

Where, with terrific fury, they contend,

Till, boiling forth, their stygian streams they send,

Resistless, through the teeming vernal lands,

Pregnant with death, and Ruin’s hellish bands.

So did old Jacob’s angry sons contend,

And foul reproaches, furious curses blend

With wrathful strife, indulge in mutual blame,

And thus each other’s chafed mind inflame.

So high, indeed, the storm of passion rose,

That had not Judah ’gan to interpose—

With words of peace t’ apply a soothing balm,

The troublous storm of boist’rous rage to calm,

The Brethren then might have incurr’d the guilt

Of Reuben’s blood, in such contention spilt.










The Patriarch, in the vale of Hebron, summons his household to evening prayer. One of the Shepherd band, sent from Dothan, arrives at the Patriarch’s tent bearing the blood-stained garments of Joseph. The anguish of Jacob on beholding the indications of his son’s supposed fate.


’Tis vesper time, and round the Patriarch’s tent

Breathes the blest calm of peace and mild content:

It is an Eden-spot, where care might lose

Its sting ’mid loveliness, which sweetly woos

The stricken heart, by hateful grief opprest,

To soft forgetfulness and tranquil rest.


Within a nook i’ th’ margin of the wood

Of towering oaks, the Patriarch’s dwelling stood;

There, too, the cedar and the almond tree

Teem’d rich with fruit, and shed sweet fragrancy.

Around, each lovely flower its beauty spread—

The jasmine, amaranth, and tulip red;

There, the luxuriant vine the oak embraced,

And with its clust’ring fruits the landscape graced;

And every tree of Palestine grew there,

And ev’ry beauteous flow’r and sapling fair.

Not far remote, upon the rising ground,

Is Arbah’s city,[4] whence the cheerful sound

Of busy men goes forth, or jocund cry

Of noisy urchins in their revelry,

Which, by the Zephyrs, haply borne along

The Patriarch’s glen, let loose loud Echo’s tongue,

Conjuring there within the stilly glade,

Fantastic concerts, Nature’s serenade.


Behind, the mountains’ tow’ring summits rise,

In solemn grandeur, tow’rds their kindred skies,

Forming an amphitheatre vast and wild,

In rugged shape and air sublimely piled;

Seen, with their awful heads, in th’ ev’ning hour,

Like Nature’s giants, in their pride and power,

Observing, from their high aërial seats,

The puny race below, and all their little feats.


In front, a beautiful and tranquil bay

Spreads its smooth waters by the winding way,

Which leads the wand’rer to the peaceful glade,

Embosom’d in the solitude and shade:

And soft and smilingly those waters glow,

Warm’d by the setting sun, who, loth and slow,

Withdraws his rays from that loved spot, and yet

Would linger there, and still his course forget;

Beguiled by the magic-breathing spell

Of that sweet, fragrant, pleasure-teeming dell;

Anxious, ere he should set, its balm to sip,

And in the limpid crystal lake to dip

His lagging beams—tired in his weary race,

And fondly tarrying in that happy place;

A place, in truth, where spirits blest might stay,

Enticed by its charms, and wile away

Sweet fleeting hours of sunny bliss below,

And for awhile all other bliss forego.

Around the lake are gaily-painted rocks,

Colour’d by Nature’s hand, and crown’d with flocks

Of beauteous birds, of various kind and note,

Whose tuneful accents through the woodland float

Symphonious with the anthem lays that rise

From forest songsters warbling to the skies.

And here and there some plots of ripening corn

Wave in the breeze and the gay fields adorn;

While blossom’d trees and shrubs of various hue

Enrich the scene, and shed sweet odours too.

Around the lake’s gay margin often strayed

The soft gazelle which there its dwelling made;

And fleetly bounding o’er the meadows fair,

Seem’d like a fairy thing in form and air.


But, hark! what strains are those which sweetly fall

Along the dell like notes celestial?

Oh! ’tis the sound of sacred praise and pray’r,

Which mingleth melody of music there.

The Hebrew patriarch hath summon’d all

His household band to sacrifice; the call

With cheerfulness obeyed—they each prepare

To render holy thanks with pious care.

Their vesper songs of grateful praise ascend

From lips sincere; then rev’rently they bend,

Each humbly kneeling on the grassy sod,

Before the altar of the living God.

The shepherd priest, the aged Hebrew sire,

The sacrificial rites performs—the hallow’d fire

Of true devotion kindling o’er his face,

Bright with the radiance of faith and grace.

Then sacred beams descending from on high,

Approve the offerings of piety:

The meekly-kneeling suppliants surround,

And cast an air of peacefulness around;

Sweet innocence each placid brow illumes,

Unsadden’d o’er with guilt and sin’s alarms:

At peace with God, their conscience void of guile,

Their hearts accord with Nature’s lovely smile,

Which, breathing o’er the scene a gentle calm,

Diffuses there a spirit-soothing balm,

With voice decisive, manifest, and clear,

Symphoniously proclaims that God is near.


But, see! while gathers round the ev’ning shade,

A wand’rer passes down the noiseless glade,

With lagging step and strange suspicious air,

Like some stern ruffian creeping from his lair,

With fell desire, by blood or plunder fed,

Making his way with cautious watchful tread.

With what foul purpose doth he thus invade

The sweet sequester’dness of Arbah’s glade?

Is it with burning lust of dark revenge

The death of slaughter’d Shechemites t’ avenge,[5]

That, like a wolf on rav’ning purpose bent,

He prowls about the shepherds’ peaceful tent,

Watching the hapless wanderer to clasp

In his fierce, ruthless, execrable grasp?

Seeks he, with savage unappeased hate,

His unsuspecting prey to immolate—

To lave his passion in warm reeking gore;

And pleased, bloody, full libations pour,

Hoping by such funereal obsequies

His injured brethrens’ manes to appease?

No: ’tis no deadly plotting Shechemite,

Who cautious seems to shun the gleaming light,

Which, flitting now and then athwart the way,

The transient glimmering of th’ expiring day,

Appears to smile along the woodland dell,

And parting, kindly speaks a sweet farewell.


Whoe’er he be, or what his errand there,

Or what the cause of his mysterious care,

He now the shepherds’ domicile draws near,

His visage pale and sad with guilty fear.

To peace, alas! the breast a stranger is

That’s haunted by th’ accusing scrutinies

Of watchful Conscience, who asserts her pow’r,

Loud and importunate at such an hour,

When soothing calm and evening’s soft repose

The wakeful mind to thoughtfulness dispose—

And wakeful mem’ry conjures to the view

The deeds of times gone by, and marshals, too,

Th’ avenging hosts in horrible array—

And Justice, claiming for her lawful prey

The guilty soul who doth her laws offend,

Conscious of wrath deserved and self-condemn’d.


The guardian watch-dog wakes his warning note,

Whose pealing accents down the woodland float,

Borne by the breeze, by sportive echo found,

Who playful takes the notes and back responds the sound;

But watchful Canis recognized the tread

Of him who then along the green sward sped

Towards the aged Patriarch’s tent his way,

Scarcely discern’d in the dim ev’ning gray.

The ev’ning’s sacrificial service o’er,

The holy Patriarch seated at the door

Of peaceful, past’ral cot, engages now

In pious musings—contemplating how

The years commingled with the eternal void,

And lent for great designs, had been employ’d—

The passed days and years which, fled for aye,

Should, on a future retributive day,

In God’s eternal register appear,

Recorded full, and manifest, and clear.

Then mused he of all th’ eventful things

Which had befall’n him—all his journeyings:

Revolving, too, he thought of other times,

When sojourned he in Syria’s distant climes;[6]

A stranger in a strange and unknown land,

Still kept by God’s protecting, mighty hand.

Then through the lapse of years he hastened on,

And with paternal fondness thought upon

Those who were foremost in his tender care,

His children absent, but remember’d there—

Remember’d, and on Faith’s strong pinions borne

In ardent prayer to Mercy’s gracious throne.

Yet chiefly does the old man’s thoughts engage,

Joseph, the solace of his wintry age:

Contemplating, he mus’d what speed he had,

Or what, perchance, should have befall’n the lad—

When, lo! before the Patriarch’s door doth stand

One of his sons—one of that guilty band,

Commissioned by the partners of his guile

To maturate their base and cruel wile;

Bearing the tidings to old Jacob’s ears

Of Joseph, subject of his hopes and fears.

And he it was, who, stealing through the glade,

Appear’d to court the covert of the shade;

Guilt on his brow, his spirit ill at ease,

His heart oppress’d with sin’s dark reveries—

Remorse, foreboding retributive woe,

Palsied his limbs and made his footsteps slow.

The cries of welcome loudly now resound,

Women and prattling children gather round—

With eagerness receive him to his home,

And fondly ask him where his brethren roam;

With clam’rous voice demand if all be well—

Their noisy questionings their feelings tell:

The watchful dog awakes his notes anew,

And pleased joins in the loud chorus too—

Participating in the gen’ral joy,

Which doth the hearts and tongues of all employ;

With playful leap he capers o’er the ground,

And round the trav’ller sports with joyous bound.


Lo! now before his hoary sire he stands,

Holding the blood-stain’d garment in his hands.

His children’s weal the Patriarch straight inquires,

Where tarry they from him to learn desires—

Wonders his son’s reluctant air to see,

And evil bodes from his perplexity.

With downcast look, and cold, averted eyes,

And sullen voice, at length he thus replies:

“This have we found—now, then, I pray thee know,

Whether it be thy Joseph’s coat or no?”


Speechless the aged parent stood awhile,

The hapless victim of his offspring’s guile;

A father’s feelings agitate his breast,

With horror and with terror deep opprest.

Now gazing on the garment, now on heav’n,

His throbbing heart with consternation riv’n:

It is my son’s coat!” then anon he cries,

“In some deep thicket’s gloom, he mangled lies—

His bleeding limbs by savage monsters torn—

Of life, of beauty, and of cov’ring shorn.

Oh, ruthless fate! that thus, alas! could sever,

In one dread hour, me from my child for ever!”


Then all his sons and all his daughters rose

To calm the old man’s grief and soothe his woes;

But vain th’ attempt—the turbid woe-fraught tide

Of dark despair could not so soon subside:

“In vain,” he cries, “in vain you comfort bring;

Fruitless such effort—such imagining.

Down to the grave, my resting-place, I’ll go,

Mourning unto my son beloved, and so

In long laments and never-ceasing tears,

I’ll spend the lasting misery of years,

Until I shall my Joseph meet again

In those blest realms where ling’ring grief and pain

No more shall mar repose—where sorrows cease,

And all is happiness, and joy, and peace!”










The Dead Sea. The encampment of the Ishmaelitish merchants. The Angel’s appearance to the Hebrew boy. The arrival of the merchants in Egypt. Joseph is sold to Potiphar.


Now sable night broods o’er Zeboim’s sea,

Whose turbid, sluggish waves roll sullenly

On shores accurs’d; where deepest horror reigns,

And holds triumphantly her drear domains,

By tenure sealed with the fearful blast

Of wrath omnipotent, when erst it cast

The flaming sulphur and the heav’n-lit fire,

Fanned into fury by almighty ire;

A sea of lava—a destroying flood—

Where Sodom, Admah, and Zeboim stood,

And foul Gomorrah, whose accursed race

Were then the vilest vile; who shamed the face

Of blushing Nature, who, abash’d, forsook

Her dwelling there, and sorrowing betook

Herself to heav’n, redress to seek from hence,

And tell her wrongs to its high audience.


Her prayer was heard. As he was wont, the sun

Had lighted up his fires: man had begun

His deeds of sin—his works of damning guile,

Foul, hateful acts of wrong and fiendish wile:

Above, around, on ev’ry side, the light

Of heav’n smiled serenely fair and bright.

No warning voice was heard, no dismal sound,

Nor shade of ominous import was found—

No darkly-boding thing to indicate

To those curs’d cities their impending fate.

Sinners sinn’d on—guilt roll’d its darkest wave—

Besotted souls their Maker’s anger brave;

All things seem’d as they were in ages past—

Seem’d as decreed through future years to last.

In one, one moment o’er the land was spread

A shroud of darkness, tangible and dread—

A darkness, such as round the spirit cast

A dreadful weight, intolerable, vast—

Which from its course the life’s warm current sway’d,

And through the bursting pores its passage made,

And palsied ev’ry limb, and caus’d to quail

The stoutest heart, and turn’d the boldest pale;

And where each trembling wretched-one it found,

Him unresisting to that spot it bound—

A motionless and pow’rless living one—

A speechless, human, strange phenomenon!

Hush’d is the voice of men, and chain’d the tongue

That erst with words obscene and curses rung,

And troll’d the shameless jest the throng among.

Th’ affrighted wretches bound on ev’ry hand,

In terror’s strong congealment transfixed stand;

And trembling Nature droops her fainting head,

Shudd’ring amid the silence of the dead.


Now, through the dismal gloom, the lightning’s flash

Glares horridly amid the thunder’s crash;

Rous’d by the blaze, the tumult, and the din,

Devoted Sodom’s palsied sons begin

Once more to show the faculties of life,

Ere closed for ever in the final strife;

And Conscience, too, that slumber’d long, long sear’d,

Her right asserts, and they who never fear’d

Her friendly, vainly-warning voice before,

Now writhe and agonize beneath her power;

But vainly writhe, or agonize, or fear—

Their fate is sealed—their retribution’s near.

The hoarse lament, the shrill and bitter shriek,

Their wildest agony and fear bespeak;

Together rush the terror-stricken throng,

The tim’rous and the brave, the helpless and the strong—

Sires, children, matrons, blooming youth, and age,

Destruction’s prey, and death’s sad heritage.

Heaven opes her portals—forth the fiery flood

Rolleth in fury from the throne of God—

From that dread throne where Mercy pleaded long,

But vainly pleaded for Zeboim’s throng.

In frightful war the elements contend,

And lightnings’ blasts and liquid fire-storms blend

In mighty wrath Zeboim’s sons to smite

With rayless gloom of one eternal night.

The Sulphur-dæmon, ravaging the plains,

Devours till no vitality remains

Whereon his lust insatiable may fall,

Lacking his proper food material—

Man, beast, and Nature’s verdure, blighted all.

No soul survives the tragedy to tell—

The land of sin becomes the place of hell;

Throughout the lapse of all succeeding time

To prove a beacon to the sons of crime;

With awful signs of ancient guilt to warn

Mankind in each revolving period born;

T’ admonish men of His unbounded might,

Who kens creation with unhinder’d sight—

And all the universe of worlds doth hold

In one vast, mighty, all-encircling fold.


Not distant far from those denounced shores,

Where dolorous gloom pervading ever lours—

A region once so fair, Pentapolis,[7]

Now foster-place of hateful horridness—

The Ishmaelitish merchantmen remain

Encamped in the thirsty, sterile plain;

There, spent by daylight’s toils, dispose their tents,

When night o’erspreads proud Egypt’s muniments.


O’er the encampment, streaming pennons wave,

Lit by the gleam that falls from heaven’s concave,

As ever and anon the lucid moon

Looks forth from out the fleecy cloud, but soon

Doth vail again her pure and lustrous face,

Unwilling with her gentle light to grace

Those who embower’d in tents and resting there,

Their guileless captive keep with guilty care.


Now stillness holds her empire: not a sound

Or hum of waking voice is heard around,

Save the slight echo of the centinel

Keeping his watch; or ’mid the asphodel

The croaking frog emitting forth his note

From out the margin of the stream remote;

Or perhaps, the sighing of the fitful breeze,

With mournful cadence breathing through the trees,

As if in kind condolence heaving sighs;

While Nature too, responsive, from her eyes

Lets fall the gushing tear-drop, it may be,

In pity, and in melting sympathy,

Grieving for him, the youthful Hebrew slave

Whom ruthless hate to cruel bondage gave.


Oh! where may Guilt a refuge hope to find?

Where quench the fiery torture of her mind?

To what dark covert shall the sinner flee

To vail his infamy, great God! from thee?

What, though in nature’s unexplored deeps,

Where solemn Mystery her vigil keeps,

He might his branded spirit seek to hide,

And in unravell’d solitude abide?

Ah! could he there repose unknown—unseen—

Where floods immeasurable roll between

The mighty chambers of th’ untravers’d main

And terrene scenes and heav’n’s blue liquid plain?

Not all earth’s quarried stores together cast,

Or heap’d-up piles of wat’ry mountains vast,

Can stay one ray of that pervading sight,

Which radiates from the Source of mind and light.

But oh! a sleepless eye doth ever shine

In love on hearts that serve at Virtue’s shrine;

Nor dark profoundest gloom of ebon night

Can shroud its pity or traverse its sight:

The eye of God, which doth omniscient ken

The world’s deep secrets and the deeds of men;

And while the universe demands his care,

Hears and regards the helpless suff’rer’s pray’r.


Athwart the canopy, cerulean, wide,

Towards the caravan, behold! doth glide

A messenger of mercy, fraught with love,

And sent in pity from bright realms above;

Who borne through the expanse with swiftest wing,

Peace to the mourner, heavenly hope doth bring.


Lo! now the angel reaches Syria’s land,

Oft honour’d thus with some of Eden’s band,

And waveth there his pinions fair, that teem

With radiant hue of sweet celestial beam;

Enrobed in silver rays, and redolent

With odours rich—in colours relucent.


Before the captive boy, opprest with grief,

Wearied with care and fall’n in slumbers brief,

The angel stands, ambrosial and bright,

And in the tent displays his dazzling light,

Which, falling round th’ unconscious slumb’rer’s head,

Awakes him from his cold and cheerless bed—

His bed, the couch of poverty and toil,

The wand’rer’s unbought couch—the grass-grown soil.


The captive’s soul deep consternation thrills—

The wondrous sight his mind with terror fills;

Astonish’d, he beholds his heav’nly guest,

From God sent forth—a seraph bright confest.

But soon the angel sought his fears to still,

And purport of his coming to fulfil.

And thus he spake benign: “Let not vain fear

Distress thy soul, for God, thy God is near;

He, succour in thy greatest need will send,

And thee from ev’ry fiercest foe defend;

In brightest rays of mercy from above

God over thee shall smile in boundless love,

’Tis He who in his sacred courts on high

Directs thy path and guides thy destiny.

Think not that chance thee from thy sire divides—

Think not that chance thy portion here decides;

Eternal prescience does thy way prepare,

Unerring wisdom round thee spreads its care.

Deep hidden in th’ eternal mighty mind

Are great events appointed and defin’d,

Which, now for wisest purposes conceal’d,

In time’s maturity shall be reveal’d;

Repine not, then, if pain and sorrow now

Mar thy repose and sadden o’er thy brow;

Willing pursue the way that heav’n assigns,

And question not its just and wise designs;

Keep o’er thy heart a firm and watchful guard,

Each thought unholy from it e’er debarr’d.

Go on, O youth! to grace and virtue true,

Daily to God thy life devote anew;

On him depend in ev’ry needful time,

At home, abroad, in ev’ry place and clime;

So, He shall save thee from malignant hate,

And mightily thy cause shall vindicate;

And you by past experience shall tell

That God who rules on high doth all things well.

He rules men’s hearts, their deepest wile averts

And to his own designs each plot converts.

Be He your confidence—in Him repose

Your hope and trust in this life’s darkest woes.

In his own time thy grief and toil shall cease,

And you enjoy his blest, abiding peace.”

He said, and swiftly wing’d his heav’nward way

Back to the realms of everlasting day.

The scene the youth with deep amazement fill’d,

And through his bosom strong emotions thrill’d—

Emotions such as ne’er Arcadia sung,

Or words express’d that fall from mortal tongue;

Which bounding with the life’s swift current roll

In uncurb’d ardour through the astonish’d soul,

Exciting in the fiercely throbbing breast

A tumult such as will not be repress’d,

Till, passion wearied, lets her contest cease,

And then, the feelings spent, subside to peace.

As when, in gentle indolence reclin’d,

Slumbers in peacefulness the tranquil wind;

But suddenly stern Æolus[8] his vast

Cornet sounds, waking its terrific blast,

And scares the zephyrs from their transient sleep,

Them driving o’er the surface of the deep—

Till like a cloud-capped mountain oft hath stood

The warring billows of the eddying flood,

Hurl’d to and fro with hoarse and deaf’ning sound,

In frantic wrath and strange fantastic bound—

Till spent at length, the tumult and the din

Their frenzy hush, sweet rest reposing in.


Now, softly beaming o’er the mountain height,

The morning sun presents his streaming light;

The merchants hail the welcome dawn of day,

And straight prepare to speed their destin’d way:

Their motley troops in marching ranks dispose,

And with their wains the long procession close.

Anticipation through their bosom spreads

An ardent glow which o’er their visage sheds

An air of mild content and happiness—

Of jocund mirth and laughing joyousness.

The captive, too, e’en finds the mollient balm

Of gentle peace diffuse its pleasing calm

Within his breast—and to his lot resign’d,

Ponders the angel’s words within his mind.


Arriv’d at length in Egypt’s verdant land,

To Potiphar, the captain of the band

Of Pharaoh’s royal guard, the merchants sell

The Hebrew youth, a servitor to dwell.

To watch the sun on each declining day,

Mark how his hours in exile pass away;

The bondman’s calendar to note his time,

Stealing along with dull monot’nous chime,

By nothing varied save his lord’s caprice,

Who bids him toil or lets his labour cease.

The sport of others’ will, an abject slave,

The heir of one domain, and that—the grave.










The retrospect. The beauty of Zuleeka, Potiphar’s wife. Her infidelity. The constancy of the Hebrew slave.


Full many a day had smiled with golden show’rs

Of sun-beams bright and teem’d with beauteous flow’rs;

And many a bird of song had wing’d its way,

And tuned in freedom’s strains its happy lay

Around Al-Kair’s[9] sweet, fragrant grove or bow’r,

When there the Hebrew boy, in eve’s soft hour,

Would often linger—daylight’s toil beguiled

By Nature’s music, beautiful and wild;

Romantic lays Æolian, soft and sweet,

Which then, the enraptur’d list’ner’s ear might greet.

The stream’s low murmur, and the sleepy sound

Of chirping insects ’mid the herbage found;

The breeze’s whispers tripping through the trees,

Exacting sweets from spicy fragrances

Of orange groves, where gentle Philomel

Mingles her accents with enchanting spell.

Soft notes that lull spent Nature, tir’d, opprest,

And sighing for the tranquil time of rest.

At such a season fancy loves to muse

On vanish’d days of bliss, and much reviews

The sunny morning of our nascent life,

Ere clouded o’er with murky gloom and strife.

The calm and fragrance of the dewy eve

Do silken spells around our spirits weave,

And make our minds retrace the scenic stage

And panorama of our earlier age.


Thus ’mid the gentle consentaneous chime

Of mingled melody at vesper time,

The Hebrew boy in some sequester’d place,

Wanders in thoughtful mood, with tardy pace—

And musing, lives again those by-gone times

Which once in Canaan’s distant halcyon climes

Beam’d on his hours of boyish thoughtlessness—

Sweet hours of liberty and happiness;

When oft in sportive moodiness he’d ramble

Along the heather, ’mid the flower or bramble;

And rouse the coney from its mossy cell,

And chase it bounding through the pleasant dell;

Or gather wild fruits in the rural glade,

’Mid sweet acacias and the palm-tree’s shade.

Or soft reclin’d within a cooling grot,

In some secluded, love-inspiring spot,

Tune gentle lays upon his past’ral reed,

From cares of life and gloomy sadness freed.

Or climbing up the steep and craggy rock,

Watch from its sunny top the sportive flock.

Or creeping where the eagle made her rest

Pilfer the unfledged eaglets from her nest.

Or wand’ring by the streamlet’s golden rill,

His little platted rushen basket fill

With captives taken from the rippling tide,

From scaly swarms that through the riv’let glide,

And sporting in the mimic billows—then

Are sometimes captur’d by such fishermen.

Then hast’ning home with boyish consequence,

Would generous around his prey dispense;

Or fondly pressing towards his sire, would tell

What little incidents perchance befell

Him wand’ring o’er the crags, or in the glade,

Or by the brook,—with eloquent parade;

Such as from lips of innocence will flow,

Which nought of guile or worldly flatt’ry know.


Such were thy musings oft, thou Hebrew boy—

Thy fond regret for each departed joy,

Which gladden’d thy young heart ere it had known

A pang of grief for one dear pleasure flown;

Ere adverse fate had rent thy soul with fears,

Or blanch’d thy roseate cheek with briny tears!


Though bright and blossoming are Al-Kair’s groves,

And there each sweetest, wildest minstrel roves;

And velvet lawns below, and skies above,

Dispense perfumes—resound the notes of love,

And Nilic waters roll a flood of gold,

And plenty teeming with her stores untold:

Yet dearer to thy heart sweet Hebron’s vale,

And Arbah’s cedar’d hills and fruitful dale,

And shepherd-haunts, and pleasant past’ral toils—

Each mild pursuit which ev’ry care beguiles!


What though a palace be thy dwelling now,

And vassal menials in thy presence bow;

Though guardian heav’n thy honest worth approve,

And gain for thee thy Lord’s distinguished love—

Unbounded love—which thee doth elevate,

To trust responsible from sordid state;

Though blessings tend thee in the Mizraim’s land,

And crown with rich success whate’er thy hand

Engage:—yet more than all belov’d by thee,

Dear Canaan’s humbler joys and—liberty.


Fair was that Hebrew boy!—surpassing fair!

On him had nature tried her choicest care,

In some soft moment when no wayward will

Did cross the bias of her wondrous skill.

His soul all tenderness and void of guile,

Shed o’er his sunny brow the angel smile

Of gentle innocence; such winning grace,

As might bespeak him of a holier race—

A pure inhabitant of heavenly climes,

Whose holy atmosphere the soul sublimes.

His radiant eyes pour’d forth a blessed light

Of heart and spirit, beautiful and bright:

He was all lovely, both in form and air,

Not less the man than most divinely fair;

Gen’rous and brave, magnanimous and wise,

A peerless sage in blooming youth’s disguise.

The good, the just, his grace, his virtue prais’d,

And Fame, abroad, his worth and beauty blaz’d:

Age gazed with wond’ring and admiring eyes,

And Science heard him with profound surprise.

Nor wanting was foul Envy, spawn of hell,

Her artifice and mazes to ravel.

Around her venom’d filth she widely cast,[10]

Corroding whispers borne on ev’ry blast:

Sharp sland’rous tongues and spells that cogitate

Each wish malignant and devouring hate,

Raising within the breast of his compeers

A host of vengeful thoughts and jealous fears;

And Mizraim maidens new emotions feel,

While glances on the Hebrew boy they steal—

Emotions such as breathe forth tender sighs,

And animate their sparkling, melting eyes

With language eloquent—more touching far

Than softest strains of sweetest music are.


His pow’r Zuleeka own’d—the lovely bride

Of Potiphar—the Mizraim’s boast and pride.

Unhallow’d love awoke a passion-flame

Within her soul, whom busy sland’rous Fame,

With all her spleen, ne’er dar’d afore defile

With pois’nous charge, or whispering of guile.

Fairest was she of all the beauteous train

That mingled in the proud and dazzling scene

Of Beauty’s pageantry, in splendid halls

Of Egypt’s court, at gayest festivals,

When ev’ry brightest star of maidens fair,

And matrons loveliest, were gather’d there:

So passing beautiful, in truth, was she,

That gazers thought her, in their ecstasy,

Of parentage celestial, and sprung

From gods and goddesses, by poets sung.

So, as ’mid revelry and banquets proud,

And gallant pomp of the gay courtly crowd,

In all her witchery she’d sometimes flit,

Her lily brow all sunshine—albeit,

Such hours of noisy mirth and convival,

For woman have not charms attractical,

She seem’d a spirit fair from some blest land,

Where skies are all serene and seasons bland;

Fates e’er propitious, tempers soft and kind,

Nor ruder passions place or welcome find.

Like a pure being on good deeds intent,

To scatter round sweet bliss and pleasure sent,

She bloom’d amid the paths of wond’ring men,

Who gazing once, e’er pined to gaze again.


But beauty void of virtue’s charm is vain,

Deceitful shine, that sets in clouds of pain;

Or like a phantom-light, which doth allure

To miry swamps and morasses impure;

Or fabled fruits[11] of Siddim’s fated vale,

Beheld eternally a rich regale,

Which, blooming fair and speciously, present

Inviting hues to trav’llers wearied, spent,

Who looking on the fruit with anxious eyes,

With eager hands might grasp the specious prize;

Their parched lips anticipating, then,

To cool with luscious succulency, when,

Behold! with sick’ning horror and disgust,

They to their lips present a mass of dust;

Deceitful, treacherous, and fair to view,

A foul disgusting thing, and nauseous too;

Without, of golden tint and nectarine—

Deformity and rottenness within.


Zuleeka! o’er thy fallen spirit fell

The mystic charm, the talismanic spell

Of love, unhallow’d love—a charmful breath

From fairy land, soft whisp’ring bliss, while death

Lurks ’neath its wing—and though a lovely hue

Blooms round it, and a specious promise too,

Of richest joys and pleasures all divine,

That in Love’s heav’n unsullied ever shine;

A paradise of dear delightful sweets,

Delicious charms in Passion’s soft retreats;

Elysian bliss and fadeless flow’rets found

Voluptuous, in Love’s enchanted ground.—


Vain promises! Oh, ’neath the chaplet fair

That guilty lover wreathes, deep hidden there

Doth lie a thorn—sharp pointed; and anon,

While pleased, her brow she puts the garland on,

The poison’d barb transfixed in the brain,

Awaketh there th’ extremity of pain.

Or as she presses to her throbbing heart

The venom’d sweet, a sudden writhing smart

Torments her soul with wildest agony,

While savage fiends take solace as they see

Their yielding victim snared in their toil,

A ruin’d spirit—hell’s demanded spoil.


Vainly Zuleeka did each blandishment

Spread round the youth, love’s gentle filament!

Thy soft endearments fell, as sun-beams fall

On Adamantine rock, or glacial;

Vain the alluring glances of thine eyes,

Thine honey’d whispers or dissolving sighs,

Or costliest gifts. Each soul-enthralling smile

Beams sweetly—but with vain unheeded guile!


The lovely pathos of thy tuneful lip

Ne’er mov’d him of the nectar’d sweet to sip.

The passing beauty of thy ev’ry charm

Breathing the magic of ambrosial balm;

Thy varied art, thy more than mortal pow’r,

Essayed at matin or at vesper hour—

’Mid gayest splendour of a courtier’s pride,

Or in the rich parterre, or stream beside,

Whose od’rous margin and enchanting rill

The heart beguiled to love with softness fill;

Or ’mid enticing sweets of lovely bower,

In th’ warm luxuriance of the noontide hour,

In vain the youth with rosy mien assail:

Vain each entreaty or each pensive wail,

Or pearly tear-drops which thy cheeks bedew—

To virtue’s laws the Hebrew boy is true.

And thus to that frail one responded he,

As oft with unabash’d disloyalty

She importun’d the honest youth, whose heart

Abhorr’d with steadfast scorn the traitor’s part:

“Behold! my lord, benevolent and kind,

’Neath my control his household hath resign’d;

His wealth, his substance, all his treasures there

Committed to my well-demanded care.

And could I then, allured to cursed lust,

With dark adult’rous deeds betray my trust,

Obey that foul fiend’s voice which now doth fold

His meshes round thy soul with deadly hold:

A fire-brand of ingratitude should stain

My brow with deeper spot than ere did Cain

The primal murderer endure of old,

Whose crime and doom our holy sires have told.

To ages yet unborn th’ adult’rer’s name,

And ingrate vileness, should go down with shame;

While virtuous mentors, warning, might relate

The Hebrew’s crime—the Hebrew’s wretched fate;

Point to his end beneath the blasting rod

Of a sin-hating, sin-avenging God.”

Thus spake the faithful youth, and hurl’d away

The poison-cup, which proffer’d day by day,

Accepted, would around his mind have spread

Black gloom of guilt, each better bias fled,

And holy purpose drooping—blighted—dead.










Zuleeka’s love changed to fierce revenge. Potiphar, instigated by Zuleeka’s false accusings, casts Joseph into prison. Reflections on God’s power and providence.


Oh! when the heart with unrequited love

Is rent, its dearest hopes all blighted, prove

A sunless desert, where no spot of green

Soft verdure ever smiles with cheerful sheen;

Oft passion, ardent as the solar ray

That burns in tropic skies at full-grown day,

Is chilled by hate more cold than polar snows,

More fierce than monsters pierc’d by Nubian bows,

That wretched heart a drear convulsion casts

On eddying whirls essay’d by savage blasts—

By demon pow’rs conjur’d that raise the strife

Of angry storms with deepest mis’ry rife—

To that sad spirit earth’s best joy is gloom,

And nature wears the aspect of the tomb.

So ’mid rich plenty and proud honour’s zest,

Zuleeka found no halcyon spot of rest,

Where she a respite from her care might find,

Or hush the fever of her tortur’d mind:

Not gorgeous pomp nor captivating show,

Could break the murky blackness of her woe.

Alternate passions live in all her soul,

And o’er her cast their merciless control.

Love heaves her bosom now with mighty pow’r

Now savage fury boils with fell rancour;

Pride, like a hellish demon, swells his crest,

And all his mischief-brooding train infest

Their hapless victim with such ruthless force,

As raiseth in the soul a plague—fell source

Of cursed jealousy and rankling hate—

Each tender feeling blasted—desolate.

As when its way the horrid Simoon wends,

(Whose foul career the pestilence attends,)

Over some fated tract, smit by its breath,

Man, beast, promiscuous fall in ghastly death;

Converted is the cheerful, busy plain,

Into a charnel-place of numbers slain;

And joyous smiles and blithe hilarity,

Enshrouded are in drear mortality;

Where laughing pleasure dwelt, despair is found,

And speechless horror spreads dun grief around.

So with the moral blight of canker’d guile,

Did blasting breath of passions base defile

Zuleeka’s once so fair and blameless mind,

But now a prey to vice—to virtue blind.

Each principle corroded by the spell,

That o’er her spirit as a hell-blight fell;

Till, like a fierce hyæna gaunt and grim,

She burn’d her thirst to quench in th’ blood of him

Whom late she valu’d more than life or fame—

Ay! doted on the mention of his name;

Round whom her spirit clung by day—by night

Soul of her dreams—her waking thoughts’ delight,

The subject of her chiefest hopes and fears,

Embalm’d in tender sighs and crystal tears,

Whether she mingled in each gayest scene

Of busy day, or in eve’s hour serene,

’Mid blossom’d sweets in lovely bow’r she lay,

Chanting on gentle lute some roundelay.

Now, while the noontide sun his glory pours

Over proud Mizraim’s minarets and tow’rs,

Around Zuleeka, hot with rage, doth stand

In form obsequious, a menial band,

Summon’d with clamorous behest, to hear

Each falsehood told with glad and willing ear.

And thus, while guilty, vengeful ire did cloak

Itself with garb of virtuous wrath, she spoke:

“Behold!” and, speaking, wav’d with frantic air

A silken vest, of texture fine and rare—

A splendid pledge of love which Joseph wore,

Of love which Potiphar towards him bore,

Which left, when from the tempter’s guile he sped,

Remain’d with frail Zuleeka as he fled.

This, fired by madd’ning wrath and wounded pride,

From holier will estrang’d and turn’d aside,

She to dark vengeful purposes converts,

And shameless thus th’ atrocious lie asserts:—

“Behold! ye servants of my lord, behold!

This paltry Hebrew vagrant, lately sold

A bondman to my lord—a worthless slave,

Whom, raised from fitting toil, your master gave

To hold high trust, abus’d, would now allure

His patron’s wife to lust and crime impure.

So, as his odious will more violent grew,

And I with voice of terror called on you,

My faithful slaves, for needful succour, he

Here left this pledge of his dark infamy.”


With boundless joy the cringing venal herd

Of fawning servitors the tidings heard;

Nor cared if true or false such tidings were,

If they could see him low degraded there,

Whom noble parts, from ev’ry shadow free,

Had rais’d to honour and to dignity:

Foul grovellers they, who, servile, base, and mean,

In virtue’s form no excellence had seen;

Or seeing, only hate and envy felt

Towards him in whose great soul all virtue dwelt;

In whose pure bosom honour shone supreme,

And shed o’er all his soul a lucent beam.

Fools could but envy, could but feel the ire

Such envy raised, but could not admire

That sun which, shining round so fair and bright,

Brought but the more their worthlessness to light.

In angry musing of malignant hate,

Zuleeka doth with fierce impatience wait

Her lord’s return; who, mingled all the day

In pageant of milit’ry array,

Hastens, when dewy shades the daylight close,

To share the joys of home and sweet repose.

Repose he finds not. Straight the blasting tale,

False, false as hell, his list’ning ears assail.

As burning firebrands on his spirit fall,

Her words, with specious zeal, unfolding all

The monstrous guilt of that perfidious youth,

The lauded paragon of grace and truth.

With well-poised mingle of accusings vile,

And feign’d reproaches aim’d with piquant guile,

As how that Potiphar, in truth, she thought,

In mockery the Hebrew slave had brought,

For purpose of vexatious surveillance,

Vested with busy rule and dominance,

She wrought upon her husband’s cred’lous ear,

And made her falsehoods foul as truth appear.

Her story told, the youth is straight condemn’d

In drear captivity his hours to spend;

To ponder o’er each strange and wayward scene,

Those tort’ring changes which his lot had been.

Yet to the future, from the past, he drew

Hope, sun-lit hope, which o’er his prospect threw

A smiling beauteous ray; though dim and faint

Its beamings were, yet often it would paint,

Within the sullen keep, a landscape bright,

Vernal with joys, and skies serene and light.

Nor long within the sordid dungeon’s gloom

Did he in cheerless bonds his youth consume;

The jailor soon his innocence discern’d,

Directed by that heav’nly care which turn’d

To gentle Pity’s power his rugged soul,

A willing vassal to her sweet controul.

He from the loathsome cell the captive brought,

Of his high worth and truth divinely taught;

Confiding to his hands the trusty care

Of all things subject to his keeping there.

There, too, the blessing of the Lord was shed,

In tender mercy, round his guileless head,

And gave blest earnest of that heavenly love

Which should around him light, to sweetly prove

His innocence, to vindicate his name

From foul reproach and undeserved shame.

And well he learn’d, though held a captive still,

That God his servant keeps ’mid every ill;

That softly rests the soul which knows not guile,

Nor yields to vice nor sin’s alluring wile;

Whose spirit resting on God’s boundless love,

Ceases from man, and seeks for help above—

From Him whose pow’r and grace in mercy flow

To bless the pilgrim in a world of woe.


The Lord is God—His infinite controul

Rules the earth’s fulness and directs the whole:

His dread reproof high heav’n with terror fills,

With quailing horror vast creation thrills.

Scared by his lightnings, Cades’ deserts groan,

And Solitude sits trembling on her throne.

Proud Libanus with consternation bends

His cedars low, when great Jehovah sends

His awful voice, in pealing thunders, o’er

Th’ astonish’d world, appalled by his pow’r.


The Lord is great, and by his mighty hand

Awakes his judgments in a sinful land.

He speaks—and Pestilence lights up its fire,

And mortals, blasted by its breath, expire,

Till busy haunts of men are desolate,

And Death his appetite doth well-nigh sate.

Or in the famine God his power displays,

And Nature, blighted by the stroke, decays;

Her cheerful form becomes denude and lean,

And as a grim anatomy is seen.

Then, like a rav’nous vulture, stern and gaunt,

Foul haggard Hunger sits enthron’d on Want;

While from her sight, obsequious to her will,

Go forth her legions fierce, the world to fill

With grief and pain, and suff’rings dark and dire,

Sharp, biting anguish, and the fever’s fire;

Of nameless ills a long unnumber’d train,

Exulting o’er their hapless victims slain.


The Lord is good, and, ’mid his judgments, is

Of mercy mindful and his promises;

O’er his own people spreads his potent arm,

To save from woe and each impending harm.

Thus, when, of old, Elijah hung’ring stood[12]

Hard by the verge of Cherith’s rippling flood,

The ravens, taught by heaven-directing care,

Obedient, the Prophet tended there;

In rural form, hospitable, o’erspread

His board, at morn and eve, with flesh and bread;

Till warn’d divinely hence, his steps he turn’d,

And with Zarephath’s widow then sojourn’d,

Submissive to his God’s unerring will,

And by his providence sustained still;

At whose command the widow’s meal and cruse,

Unspent, subserv’d each day’s returning use,

Till God in mercy pour’d his showers on earth,

And blitheful plenty took the place of dearth.

So, when the sev’n years’ wasting famine spread

Its mournful blight, big with soul-sick’ning dread,

Ere it began, the Lord his servant chose

His minister, to meliorate the woes

Which broke upon the land like a fierce tide

Of waters bursting down the mountain’s side.

His wisdom infinite, from seeming ill

Works real good, and maturates his will.

The hearts of all are subject to his pow’r;

And though it may be for a transient hour,

The wicked rage, and contemplate vain things,

Yet soon to nought their base designs he brings,

And rescues from their fierce unholy spite

His faithful children—precious in his sight.

So, while the Hebrew held in captive thrall,

Cared for, it seem’d, by none, forgot by all;

Doom’d in the prison’s solitude to spend

Each passing hour, till death his suff’rings end.

A tyrant’s hapless prey—condemn’d to die,

And ’neath the stain of false accusings lie

Till that great day when innocence shall find

Its due reward—its foes to shame consign’d.

Yet, though such gloomy prospects thickly spread

Around his heart, and o’er his spirit shed

Their baleful shades of drear lugubrious hue,

Redemption lay in store—impending too,

Directed by HIS tender, watchful care,

Who hears with kind regard the mourner’s pray’r,

In Egypt’s royal court a friend arose

To save the youth from undeserved woes—

To loose oppression’s bands—his wrongs to cease,

And crown his latter days with fame and peace.










A divan of the Magi at the court of Pharaoh. Their vain efforts to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. The king, at the instigation of his chief butler, sends for Joseph. Joseph stands before Pharaoh, and interprets his dream. The subsequent advancement of Joseph. Conclusion of the poem.


What may import that motley divan, now

In Pharaoh’s halls, of seers of learned brow;

And Memphian magi proudly thronging there,

With pompous show and grave important air?

What sacred rites prepare they now to do,

Or myst’ries strange, to lead their vot’ries through?

Peer they, with magic arts, the thread of fate,

And embryo deeds matured, prognosticate?

By Pharaoh’s mandate summoned they stand,

Awaiting their imperial lord’s command:

A band, I ween, subservient to his will,

To cringe or flatter, skill’d and pliant still.


Dark, brooding sadness sheds its leaden weight

O’er Pharaoh’s soul, amid his regal state;

For royal hearts are not debarr’d from grief;

Nor wealth nor empire always brings relief.

Dun, strangeful visions of the midnight hour,

Have aw’d his trembling soul, and made him cow’r

Beneath the dire portent of coming ill,

Which doth with deep dismay his bosom fill;

Ills darkly told in strange mysterious dreams,

And hazy shadows streak’d by lurid gleams.

All—all the magi’s eruditest skill

Could ne’er those dreams unfold—their import still

Is shrouded in th’ impenetrable shade

Which darkness-mantled mystery hath made.

Though with each art they sought to solve the dream,

In manner such as should their fame beseem,

With blind infatuation still they sought—

And vainly sought—to shame their pride is brought.

Oh, puerile pride! that would assume the skill,

With magic pow’r, to ken th’ Almighty’s will!


Musing on ills stored in the womb of fate,

Sullen and downcast, Mizraim’s sov’reign sate;

Or to and fro i’ th’ royal court would go,

Pacing, with troubled air, or fast or slow;

His visage anxious, saddened o’er and pale,

As corpses blanched by the northern gale.

Then bow’d, with rev’rence low, before the king,

He whose high trust and care[13] it was to bring

The royal cup—to prove the sparkling wine

The pure expression of the gen’rous vine,

Untainted by the deleterious juice

Of pois’nous herbs, or drugs of deadly use:

Tasting the draught before the royal lip

Might venture of the proffer’d cup to sip,

Then spake the courtly Saky:[14]—“O, my lord,

A gracious audience thy slave afford:

False charge of treasons vile did erst, O king!

Thy awful ire upon thy servant bring,

And with the baker cast into the ward,

I waited there thy august, dread award—

Of mercy or of wrath, as thou should’st deem

Thy clemency or justice to beseem.

While there, prophetic visions of the night

Our troubled spirits scared with drear affright;

Dreams such, I ween, as should portend the fate

Which did each servant of my lord await.

There, too, in bonds was held a Hebrew slave,

Who of those dreams th’ interpretation gave:

Me, he declar’d to royal love restor’d,

Saved from the lot which o’er my prospect lower’d;

From calumny and envy lifted up,

Again the bearer of the royal cup:

The baker, taken from the prison’s gloom,

To meet a proved traitor’s proper doom;

Condemn’d, for odious guilt, to hang on high,

A warning spectacle, ’mid earth and sky;

Scath’d by the cold of night and heat of day,

Devour’d by worms obscene, and birds of prey.

That time of woe, now memory brooding o’er,

Wakes deep compunction, with her searching pow’r,

And bids my mind recall how he besought,

That by my care he might from hence be brought;

A prey to red-eyed cruelty’s stern hand,

Unjustly torn from home and native land,

And still in bondage held, without a cause

From any crime of violated laws.

Now, therefore, let my lord the king command

This Hebrew youth in his dread presence stand,

And, doubtless, he shall Pharaoh’s dreams declare,

And rid his royal heart of baleful care.”

Thus the cup-bearer spake, and straight the king,

With haste dispatch’d a messenger, to bring

The Hebrew boy—with hope reviv’d, to hear

His dark-presaging dreams unfolded clear.

His mind impatient, fever’d with delay,

Accused each moment, as it sped its way,

Of idle tedious pace, and wand’ring back,

Rather than hast’ning on its wonted track;

Feelings rais’d high beyond the mind’s controul,

Toss’d, in their wild’ring whirl, his troubled soul.

And now within the porph’ry-pillar’d halls,

And pictur’d hist’ries hung on tap’stried walls,

Where beauteous vases fragrant perfumes hold,

And couches shine all deck’d with gems and gold,

Joseph is usher’d; he apparel’d, too,

In vest of texture soft and splendid hue,

In courtier’s robes for prison-garb array’d,

Is ready for the royal presence made.

Then spoke the king: [while round the courtiers throng,

And Joseph stands, in tranquil virtue strong,

Amid the gay and glitt’ring crowd, to hear

The royal will]—

                  “Hebrew I’ve call’d thee here,

For I have heard to thee belongs the pow’r

To skill the visions of the midnight hour.

I, too, have had such visions, strange and dark,

As seem in solemn mystery to mark,

With warning images obscure, unknown,

Events to come, in unsolv’d shadows shown.

Last night, while silent shades the earth o’erspread,

And Nature, hush’d to rest, repos’d her head

In peace, I, led by dreaming fancy, stood

By the soft margin of the Nilic flood;

And while upon its sacred waves I gazed,

Viewing its azure-colour’d surge,[15] amaz’d,

I saw, emerging from the glist’ning tide,

Seven fat and beauteous kine, which fed beside

The river’s banks, in pastures rich and fair,

That bloom in vernal gay luxuriance there.

But as I mark’d their matchless beauty, lo!

Seven other kine from out the waters go,

Misshap’d and lean; so odious to the view,

As ne’er in all the land before I knew.

These foul, unsightly ones, rapacious, gaunt,

Devour’d the beauteous ones; and yet keen want

Deform’d their haggard limbs: still vile and lean,

The craving, lank anatomies were seen.

This hateful spectacle my slumbers broke,

And from the hideous vision I awoke.

Lo! soon again deep Lethæan shadows keep

My eyes in consciousless, forgetful sleep;

And busy Fancy bids my spirit stray

In fruitful fields, ’neath suns of vernal ray,

Where, ’mid gay shrubs and flow’rs of ev’ry hue,

Seven beauteous ears of corn on one stalk grew,

Full, large, and strong—such as in harvest time

Scarce ever grow e’en in this happy clime.

But while, admiring much, I gaz’d on those,

Behold! seven scanty, wither’d ones arose;

Mildew’d they were, and filthy to the sight,

Blasted by eastern winds and cank’ring blight;

And as the squalid kine ate up before

The beauteous ones, so did these ears devour

The seven rich blooming ears, that promis’d fair

To pay, with produce vast, the tiller’s care.

Such were my dreams—mysterious they are,

Beyond the knowledge of the magi far.

To them I told these visions, but their art

A gleam of their design could not impart.

Now, Hebrew, if thy skill can these divine,

Our favour and high honour shall be thine.”


Then spake the youth, with modest grace and air:—

“The Lord of Hosts hath Pharaoh ’neath his care,

And only he can answer Pharaoh’s pray’r.

Though ominous, O king! thy dreams appear,

Yield not thyself to unavailing fear:

God bids thy woe depart, thy anguish cease,

And by his servant now doth whisper peace.


“That veil, O king! which future things doth hide

From human ken, thy visions turn aside,

Reveal the teemings of that time which yet

Shall dawn upon thee ere thy life-star set.

Thy dreams are one, and one their import too,

Unfolding great events with omen true.

The seven good kine—the seven good ears of corn,

Of plenteous years the same conjointly warn,

Wherein such plenty shall the land o’erflow,

As ne’er ye knew before, nor more shall know:

So the ill-favour’d kine and empty ears,

Which came up after them, betoken years

Of dearth and famine, such as shall exclude

Remembrance of the former plenitude.

The duplex nature of thy dream denotes

The fix’d design of God, who thus devotes,

In his inscrutable decree, the land

To suffer ’neath his dread chastising hand.

Nor shall long time elapse ere he fulfil

That he determines with resistless will.

Therefore, in manner thus let Pharaoh do:

Elect a minister discreet and true,

In whom combin’d are confidence and skill

Worthy such trust responsible to fill;

To him a period thy realm commit,

That he, as thy Viceroy, may govern it.

This let Lord Pharaoh do, and then create

Such officers as shall his will await,

To take, in ev’ry NOME,[16] by his command,

The fifth of all the produce of the land,

That in the seven good plenteous years shall grow,

Which they in royal garners shall bestow,

That so the people may be blest with food,

While wasting dearth shall all the land denude.”


Thus spake the Hebrew youth, and meekly bow’d,

While truth and virtue in his visage glow’d,

Illumining his young and beauteous face

With radiant shining charms, that sweetly grace

Pure holy seraphs, whose bright souls are free

From spot of guile and dark obliquity.


Though round him stand a gay and courtly crowd,

Rich, learn’d, and noble, arrogant and proud,

Yet all admire the unknown Hebrew boy—

All laud his grace—praise doth all tongues employ.

All pay a willing reverence to truth,

And, wond’ring, view the sage in beardless youth:

E’en Rivalry forgets her wonted ire,

And Jealousy doth quench her cruel fire.

Skill, knowledge, prudence, shine in ev’ry word,

And all with consentaneous voice afford

Their meed of high approval, and express

Compliance with his words, convinc’d not less

By judgment than self-love, which e’er doth rule

The prince or subject, literate or fool.


Then, with his nobles and his counsellors,

In council brief, King Pharaoh thus confers:

“Can we,” saith he, “by any searching, find

A man so wise, in whose inspired mind

God’s spirit is, imparting prescient skill

Of things deep buried in th’ eternal will?

Or, in this period critical, can we

Choose one of so well-tried integrity,

To whom we may intrust the helm of state,

And save our land from ruin desolate?”

The choice approv’d of, ’mid his peers, the king

Takes from his royal hand the signet ring,

Which to the Hebrew giv’n, in dignity

Appoints him next to Egypt’s sov’reignty.

Then, in the rich and spacious Memphian streets,

A splendid pageant the gazer meets:

The royal chariots, all encircled round

By costly work, with gilded forms adorn’d—

The mimic tales and scenes of busy life,

Of gorgeous festival or bloody strife;

Drawn by the choicest steeds of Araby—

Fit steeds for regal pomp and pageantry;

Richly caparison’d in trappings gay,

Deck’d out in all the glitter of array.

In front and rear the horsemen proudly rode,

With splendid helms, whose plumes superbly flow’d

On the wind’s bosom, waving to and fro,

In all the charm of military show;

Stern, gallant war-men, e’er unused to yield,

Unflinching troopers in the battle-field.


In the first chariot the king is seen

Conspicuous, amid the pompous scene;

With coronet, with gems bestudded, crown’d,

In robe of blue with richest ermine bound,

And belt of pearls and gold encircled round;

And in his hand a golden staff he bore,

The well-known token of his kingly pow’r.

In the next car the Hebrew boy is seen,

Who but so late an humble slave had been,

Cheer’d sometimes by Hope’s tantalizing ray,

Then passing in the cell his hours away,

To woman’s vengeful ire a hapless prey.

Now peace and plenty shed their genial balm,

While conscience, pure from guile, imparts a calm—

The soul’s blest sunshine—feelings all serene,

Gilding with real lustre things terrene.

Dangers and toils, and sorrows past and gone,

Lay hid, like shadows of a setting sun,

In that sweet rest, which, like a calm, still sea,

Spread to th’ horizon’s verge in mild recumbency.

Round him his sov’reign’s favours brightly shine,

Unclouded by aught adverse or malign:

His days are gilded with connubial bliss,

Dear hours of joy and halcyon peacefulness;

For he in princely halls had gaz’d upon

Fair Asenath; the peerless maid of On;

And gazing, he had lov’d: a mutual flame

Warm’d their young hearts, and o’er their spirits came

A pure and sacred charm, that held each soul

In bondage soft, and silken dear controul:

Their mutual love they needed not to tell,

Their timid glances told the secret well.

There is a language in the glance of love,

A winning eloquence, that’s far above

The tardy utt’rance of the lagging tongue—

A living voice from tell-tale eyelids flung—

Language that doth the secret oft reveal,

Which young timidity would fain conceal—

The hidden musings of the heart unfold,

Ardent emotions of a love untold.

And soon his passion-tale declar’d the youth,

And gladly heard the maid the welcome truth:

The bridal morn rose on them, and ne’er yet

Did sun on two more pure, more happy, set.


And thus the years pass by—the plenteous years

Wherein the husbandman the corn-field shears;

In plenty such the golden harvests grow,

As ne’er in happiest days did Egypt know.

This Joseph gather’d, and in storehouse laid,

And thus provision for the famine made.

Soon—soon the fruitful season past—the time

Of pining dearth spreads o’er the Mizraim’s clime,

And blight and blast denude the fainting soil,

And mock the strivings of the lab’rer’s toil.

In vain the husbandman employs his skill,

In vain the plague-smit land essays to till—

Savage Sterility asserts its reign,

And Famine claims the earth as her domain.

Then Joseph brought from out his boundless stores

Abundance such as like to fruitful show’rs,

Refresh’d the earth and bade stern Want depart,

And sooth’d the anguish of the people’s heart.

His trust perform’d, the grateful Mizraim strove

With emulative zeal, to prove their love.

Full many a joy-fraught theme his name imparts,

Full many a transport to devoted hearts.

The starving peasant fed, his friend he blest,

And mothers press’d their babies to their breast,

And taught their prattling tongues to lisp the note

Which loudly doth from lauding thousands float,

And in the welkin rings, and o’er the hills remote.

“Hail, saviour of our land!” the Mizraim cry—

The lips of infancy those accents try.

“Hail, benefactor of our country, sav’d,

When want and death their foul, pale banners wav’d!”

The old, young, fair, and brave, glad pæans raise—

Loud joyous songs—commemorative praise

Of him, who, ’mid the famine, plenty gave—

Their country’s saviour—erst the Hebrew slave.



From Arbah’s grove, in Hebron’s lovely plain.

Hebron, so named, probably, first by the Israelites, was previously called Kirjath Arba, and was remarkable for the gigantic oaks which grew in the neighbouring plain. This plain, exceedingly fertile and pleasant, was sometimes called Mamre, as we learn from Sacred History: “The same is Hebron, in the land of Canaan.”—Vide Historical Geog. of the Old and New Testament, by E. Wells, D.D. Vol. I. Part I. c. viii.

Forebodings drear and sad began to dart

Their barbed arrows through his aching heart.

The murder of the Shechemites by the sons of Jacob would naturally excite apprehensions for the safety of the latter. Hence, the occasion of Joseph’s mission, and his fears lest the friends of the murdered Shechemites had avenged their slaughter by the destruction of his brethren. For an account of this transaction, vide Gen. xxxiv.

Among the Dii Inferi of the Romans were the three Furies or Eumenides, who were named Alecto, Megæra, and Tisiphone. The horrid disposition and cruel province of the first are thus described: “From the mansion of the dire sisters, and the infernal glooms, she (Juno) calls up baleful Alecto, whose heart’s delight are rueful wars, strifes, and deceits, and noxious crimes. * * * * Thou canst arm to war the most cordial brothers, and by hates and animosities embroil families; thou canst introduce into houses scourges and firebrands of death; with thee are a thousand specious pretexts, a thousand arts of doing mischief.”—Davidson’s Virgil

Is Arbah’s city, Vide Note 1.

Is it with burning lust of dark revenge

The death of slaughter’d Shechemites t’ avenge?


Vide Note 2.

Revolving, too, he thought of other times,

When sojourned he in Syria’s distant climes.


Vide Gen. xxix & xxx.

A region once so fair, Pentapolis,

Now foster-place of hateful horridness.

Within the vale of Siddim anciently stood the five cities, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Bela, of which the four first were destroyed by fire from Heaven. From their number they are sometimes denominated by the name of Pentapolis. That these regions were once extremely fertile and fair, we learn from the Sacred Record, which describes them as well watered every where before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord. Their present desolate and unhappy condition is well known.—Vide Geog. of Old and New Testament, by E. Wells, D.D.

But suddenly stern Æolus his vast

Cornet sounds, waking its terrific blast.


Æolus was anciently accounted the god of storms.


  ——“In a spacious cave of living stone,

  The tyrant Æolus, from his airy throne,

  With pow’r imperial curbs the struggling winds

  And sounding tempests in dark prison binds.

  This way and that, th’ impatient captives tend,

  And pressing for release the mountains rend.

  High in his hall th’ undaunted monarch stands,

 And shakes his sceptre and their rage commands.”


Dryden’s Virgil.

Around Al-Kair’s sweet, fragrant grove or bow’r.

Al-Kair is the popular name among the Egyptians for Grand Cairo, which city hath arisen out of the ruins of Old Cairo; at which place tradition reports the Hebrew Joseph to have dwelt; and indeed the ruins of many famous works are shown there which are attributed to him.—Vide Geog. of Old and New Testament, by E. Wells, D.D.

Around her venom’d filth she widely cast,

Corroding whispers borne on ev’ry blast.


“Afflatuque suo populosque, urbesque, domosque


Ovid Metam.

Or fabled fruits of Siddim’s fated vale,

Beheld externally a rich regale.

“Nam cuncta sponte edita, aut manu sata, sive herba tenus aut flore, seu solitam in speciem adolevere, atra et inania velut in cinerem vanescunt.”—Tacitus, Hist. Lib. v. § 7.

Thus, when, of old, Elijah hung’ring stood

Hard by the verge of Cherith’s rippling flood.

“He went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening: and he drank of the brook.”—1 Kings, xvii. 5, 6.

He whose high trust and care it was to bring

The royal cup.

And I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup. From this we find that wine anciently was the mere expressed juice of the grape without fermentation. The cup-bearer took the bunch, pressed the juice into the cup, and delivered it into the hands of his master. This was anciently the ט Zayin of the Hebrews, the οινος of the Greeks, and the mustum of the ancient Latins.”—Dr. Adam Clarke.

Then spake the courtly Saky.

Saky, among the Persians and Arabians, signifies a cup-bearer.

Viewing its azure-coloured surge.

“The great Abyssinian branch (of the Nile) is denominated by the inhabitants, in their vernacular tongue, the Bahr-el-Nil, the Blue River, or more commonly the Bahr-el-Azrek, an appellation almost strictly synonimous.”—View of Ancient and Modern Egypt, by the Rev. M. Russell, LL.D. chap. ii. p. 32.

At the entrance of Dove Dale, from Ashbourne, is a hill so named.To take in every NOME,

“Ancient Egypt may be divided into three principal parts: Upper Egypt, otherwise called Thebais, which was the most southern part; Middle Egypt, or Heptanomis, so called from the seven NOMI, or districts, it contained; Lower Egypt, which included what the Greeks called Delta, and all the country as far as the Red Sea, and along the Mediterranean to Rhinocolura, or Mount Casius.”—Vide Rollin, Book I, Part I.






















  In thy fair haunts I love to roam, sweet Dale!

  Forgetful of this hollow-hearted world,

  And ’mid the ways of thy sequester’d vale,

  With Nature’s loveliness communion hold;

  List to her converse eloquent and bold,

  And in her blest retreats so calm, serene,

  The fragrant odours of her charms inhale,

  While not a pain-fraught blast may intervene

To mar the sweet and tranquil beauty of the scene.


  Ah me! when sick of earthly toil and care,

  How dear to tread thy soft embower’d ways,

  And with creation’s sinless tribes to share

  The loveliness of liberty—to gaze

  Upon the panorama which displays

  His potency, benevolence, and skill,

  Who doth these fair and glorious scenes prepare,

  The smiling valley with her plenty fill,

And deck with proud magnificence the pine-clad hill.


  Atween the velvet banks bestud with bloom,

  Heather, and beauteous flower, the smooth Dove flows

  Noiseless, save when the silver-crested spume

  Of mimic waterfall its clamour throws

  Adown the dell, and in the sunbeam glows,

  Filling the air with soft mellifluous chime,

  Symphoniously with birds of various plume,

  And humming bees, and cheerful things that climb

Upon the odorous banks, all redolent with thyme,


  And scented moss, and buds of brightest hue;

  Like the sweet garden of some fairy land,

  Where tiny songsters, hidden from the view,

  Dispense their melody on every hand,

  In witching strains of dropping accents bland;

  Strains such, I ween, as might entrance the mind

  Of some celestial traveller, who, true

  To heavenly harmony, perchance should find

Such music as would him of his blest home remind.


  The Cloud[1] doth commune with its kindred skies

  And it doth seem the common earth to spurn:

  Charm’d to sublimity, my spirits rise

  To brighter worlds. My wond’ring soul doth turn

  To heaven, and fain its mysteries would learn.

  Oh! it doth taste the strength of the sublime,

  Grasping the testa in Creation’s urn,

  That would exalt it from the bounds of time,

And elevate it to the glories of a nobler clime.


  The glorious hills magnificent, behold!

  Not more magnificent than graceful too:

  Mighty, and vast, and rugged, stern and bold,

  Yet to the soul of gentleness most true.

  Trees variegate, and shrubs of every hue,

  And blossoming delights, full, rich, and fair,

  Do so each high declivity enfold,

  That o’er the cliff that frowns with sullen air—

Extended is the sheen of softest beauty there.


  Just like sweet smiles upon a giant’s brow

  The verdure and the foliage do seem—

  Their tints so rich and manifold—and how

  All exquisite the softness of the gleam

  That droppeth from them in the solar beam,

  Blandly dispersing every gloom, what time

  O’er the calm scene its scowl that cliff should throw,

  As do, perchance, sweet rays of heav’n sublime,

Break forth, when surly clouds would mar bright Summer’s prime.


  Dove Dale, amid thy soothing solitude

  Of cavern’d haunts, a monitor[2] doth dwell,

  That with a charm most eloquent endu’d,

  Though voiceless, yet with wond’rous power doth tell

  Of a catastrophe which erst befell

  The ancient world, with all the guilty race,

  To odious lust and foulest crime subdu’d;

  When man with man did vie in black disgrace,

With unrelenting toil God’s image to deface.


  A monitor who shows of times wherein

  Convulsion’s mighty turbulence and strife

  Utter’d loud thunders, and awoke the din

  Of jarring elements—confusion rife

  With stern annihilation—blighted life—

  The dreadful sequence of th’ uplifted rod

  Of Justice outrag’d by a world of sin,

  Pour’d on a race who recklessly had trod,

In headlong madness, on the majesty of God.


  Now Peace doth reign, and Nature here doth find

  A refuge from the storm and strife of men;

  And holy calm and melody combin’d,

  Call forth a lovely paradise agen,

  In the retreats of the umbrageous glen.

  Nor ’mid the hills is heard another sound,

  Save of the shepherd, who his way doth wind,

  With heart elate, and firm elastic bound,

While his snow-fleeced flock sports merrily around.


  Or it may be, some vain fantastic rill,

  Dropping adown the mountain’s painted side,

  Doth, babbling, roll its shallow current, still

  The noisy counterpart of empty pride,

  All sound and glitter, and nought else beside.

  Just like the flippant wordiness of those

  Who, void of depth or solidness, do fill

  The vacuum with boasting prate that flows

From lips which all their teeming vanity disclose.


  Oh, thou art Nature’s temple, and in thee

  She’s wont, with unpremeditated lays

  Attuned to high-exalted harmony,

  To celebrate her great Creator’s praise,

  And to his sacred name her pæans raise

  With all her sinless tribes! Oh, glorious fane!

  Illustrious theme! Most guileless company,

  While periods revolving wax and wane,

May no unholy thing thy sanctity profane!

At the entrance of Dove Dale, from Ashbourne, is a hill so named.

Dove Dale abounds with fossil organic remains, which appear to indicate the ancient deluge.




From thy almighty throne, Jehovah, God!

On us look down: beneath thy chast’ning rod

    Bowed low in deep despair!

Strangers our lands possess—the conqueror’s plume

Waves in our halls, and foemen, fierce and proud consume

    The produce of our lands and gardens fair.


With piteous cries of infantine desire,

For absent sires our innocents inquire.

    Alas! beneath the sod

Their gore-stain’d, mangled carcasses conceal’d,

Lie mould’ring ’neath the surface of the battle-field—

    The field of carnage fell—the field of blood.


Taste we of Jordan’s stream, or crystal spring,

Or rill where the free bird its way doth wing

    With wild and gladsome song;

We, creatures of our conquerors’ rule, must pay

Our tribute for the cooling draught, the wretched prey,

    Of stern Oppression’s grasp and foulest wrong.


Gall’d are our necks with the proud tyrant’s chain,

While Persecution’s blackest spot doth stain

    Our once so happy land;

And we, bereft of rest, our tasks fulfil,

The helpless suff’rers of the proud Assyrians’ will,

    Or base insultings of th’ Egyptian band.


Down to the dust our guilty sires have gone,

And we, the fruit of their offence, have borne

    The fearful wrath of God.

Against us slaves arise, and o’er us wield

The brand of foul disgrace; nor arms, once potent, yield

    Us rescue from their fierce and iron rod.


Crave we but bread for little ones or wives,

We crave it at the peril of our lives;

    The sharp ensanguined blade

Bursts from the scabbard, gleaming in the sun—

The sun that shrinks not from the work of death begun;

    The bloody deed that woos not stealth nor shade.


The lily hue of beauty’s cheek, the smile

That wins th’ enamour’d soul with its sweet wile,

    All shrouded are in gloom;

The ruby glow and sapphire’s polish’d grace

The wasting famine gaunt, and bitter woe, deface:—

    Our portion now—our miserable doom.


Our virgins fair on Sion’s holy hill

Are made the victims of the foeman’s will,

    Their hapless, helpless spoil.

In Judah’s cities the proud infidel

Boasts of his execrable skill, and loves to tell

    Of Israel’s maidens forc’d to lust or toil.


Our princes, butchered by the thirsty knife

Of ruthless murderers in the deathful strife,

    Lie blanching in the dale;

Or hang on high the sport of breeze and blast,

The awful monuments of dreadful slaughters past,

    While round them moans the sad and tainted gale.


The choicest of our youth are forced to grind

Corn for the foeman’s use; our children bind

    Their burdens at his will;

Condemn’d to spend in toil each passing day,

Unsolaced by kinder fate, or Hope’s blest ray,

    The sport of proud caprice and passion still.


Our elders, too, who venerable sate

Dispensing justice at the city gate,

    Are unremorsely slain.

The sons of melody forbear to sing,

Or chant in choral bands, or tune the lyre’s sweet string

    To some mellifluous lay, or gentle strain.


Our dance is chang’d for the dull step of grief,

Nor hope of happier times or sweet relief,

    Our gloomy thoughts employ.

Our crown is fallen, and our head laid low,

Our present days are sorrow, and our future woe—

    Hid in despair for aye is all our joy.


Thus—thus our heart is sorrowful; the sigh

Heaves bitterly our breast, bedimm’d our eye,

    We mourn our country’s fate.

Strangers, of wicked minds, and bloody deeds,

Ravage fair Zion’s mounts and Salem’s beauteous fields,

    And make our Israel’s garden desolate.


Oh thou, Jehovah, Lord—thou God alone!

Exalted on thy high illustrious throne—

    For ever Lord of all!

Wherefore so long thy heritage forsake?

So long to heathen hordes a prey thy Sion make—

    Great God of heav’n—sea—things terrestrial?


Thou great Supreme, thy wrath withdraw! O Lord!

To us thy mercy and thy grace afford

    To rescue from our fall!

O gracious Father, turn us to thy will;

And guided by thy love, we shall thy laws fulfil,

    And still thy servants be—thou Lord of all!


Away, my little bark, away!

  And bound right merrily!

Free—free as the wild ocean spray,

  Dance on the beauteous sea:

Now o’er its silver glist’ning wave,

  With volant passage glide,

While its soft ripples gaily lave

  Thy party-coloured side.

For passing fair it seemeth now,

Like a lovely child with a placid brow,

  All garnish’d o’er with smiles.

By its bless’d calm and halcyon air,

I deem that it doth promise fair,

  To wake no more its wiles.


So tranquil now is the broad sea,

  It seems unto the view,

Like a sweet heaven pav’d most splendidly,

  With gems of ev’ry hue.

The ruby tint, and em’rald glow,

And amethystine colours flow,

  ’Mid streaks of virgin white.

And loveliest blendings there are seen,

Gilded with favouring heav’n’s rich sheen,

  So radiant all and bright.

Ah! who can dream of tempests there,

Where all is tranquil, all is fair?

Who feel the throbbing of a fear,

Or dream of danger lurking near;

So blissful seems the liquid plain,

So meekly sooth’d the mighty main?


The dæmon of storms is in his lair,

  And slumbers his fatal wrath,

And amorous zephyrs with jocund air,

  To pastime have sallied forth:

And over the waters they sportive wend,

In joyaunce light each sail to tend.

Oh then, my little bark away,

  And bound right merrily,

And free as the wild ocean spray,

  Dance o’er the beauteous sea.



There is a sound of mirth—and Music’s voice,

With gossamer wing, sails on the gale, and smites

The list’ning ear. Oh! ’tis the voice and note

Of hearts that heave exultingly with joy

And sweet anticipation—of bosoms

Wafted on yonder bark to Cambria’s shore,

Where, wandering ’mid her lovely haunts, and ’mid

Her vernal bow’rs, and o’er her breezy slopes,

They should of health the dew ætherial sip

That cools the fervid brow, and spreads soft tint

Of roseate hue—bright bloom of health restor’d

On cheeks where Pallor told the latent foe,

And cast the somb’rous shadow of the grave.

List! how the hum of infant innocence

Doth fall adown the bosom of the gale,

Just as the accents of some nursery

Where Cherubs fair are disciplin’d for heav’n!

Now midnight sheds her gloom. The storm is up,

And savage blasts awake the Ocean’s ire,

Commingling fierce confusion. The pale gleam

Of Luna trembles through the sorrowing clouds,

Aghast with horror and with sympathy

For some sad spectacle of darkest woe.

Hark! heard you not a shriek, a dreadful shriek!

A shriek of concentrated agony

And black despair! Oh! ’tis the shriek of sires,

Mothers, infants, friends—bitter, deep, and loud—

The shriek of gasping multitudes engross’d

By Death, who rides upon the bellowing surge,

And grins with rage infuriate through the storm.

Furious the din and clamour of the strife.

Whelm’d in the sandy bed, the fated bark

Shudders and quails, and utters horrid groans:

Sounds of dire import, betok’ning ruin

Promiscuous, fell—the crashing portend

Of destruction. Now, the foaming billow

Upbears its prey, and laughs in fearful mood,

And shows, with Stygian glee, its victim seen

To writhe in pangs, and vainly strive with fate;

And now the same, within the deep vortex

It, howling, hurls with gurgling, madd’ning show.

Now dash the waves the nigh-spent bark athwart.

And, dashing, bear away the man of wealth,

The artisan, the laic, and the priest,

The baby boy, the husband with the wife,

The timid and the brave; the man who jeer’d

At peril as a vision, mocking at

Puling fear; the helmsman and the pilot,

And the man who, hired in pleasure’s service,

Skill’d to delight, had mingled dulcet sound.

Hush’d are the din and clamour of the storm;

And gone her dæmon crew their deed to tell

In Tartarus—to tell, with hellish mirth

Of agonizing anguish, tears, and screams,

Of husbands reft of wives, wives widowed;

Of parents childless, children orphans made;

To tell the death of bliss—of hearths, the scene

Of joy and peace, with gushing tear-drops brin’d;

Houses made desolate, spirits rackd and torn,

And spectral Grief robed in funereal garb,

Flapping her leaden wings o’er homes where dwelt

Love conjugal, fraternal—love of hearts

Entwin’d with hearts, graving in characters

Black, broad, and deep, the very hue and form,

And spirit-blighting, burning plague of woe.


Now, now the waters rest in treach’rous calm;

They smile, and smiling would persuade that all

Is peace, that not a shade of woe e’er streak’d

The sunny scene, or e’er the storm-fiend rais’d

A deathful strife, or op’d the seaman’s grave.

Alas! the floating forms of victims give

The lie, and tell the sad catastrophe

Of numbers whelm’d ’neath the deceitful wave!

This vessel was wrecked on the Dutchman’s Bank, near Bangor, on the night of the 17th-18th of August, when the majority of her passengers and crew perished.


“At pulchrum est digito monstrari, et dicier, Hic est!”

Persius Flaccus, Sat. I.


“Esse quam videri bonus malebat.”

Sallust de Bello Catil.

There are who strive with stedfast aim

To gain the laurel wreath of Fame,

To win in sacred Freedom’s cause

The meed of popular applause;

To hear the clam’rous din that floats

From hoarsely-lauding vulgar throats;

The vaunting patriots, who pretend

Each one himself his country’s friend;

Willing for her to bleed and die

At the fair shrine of liberty:

In truth, absorb’d with self and fame,

And the dear incense of a name;

Pleased, elate, and passing proud,

To be the idol of a crowd.


Some seek a modicum of praise

By specious charitable ways,

Delight themselves with gratulation

Of philanthropic ostentation,

And lavishly disperse their pelf

From sheer complacency with self;

Anxious like hypocrites of old

To have their holy doings told—

Careful while they their alms bestow,

That all their piety shall know.

These realize their great reward

When men behold, admire, applaud.


Some admiration hope to meet

By strange eccentrical conceit;

If lacking other means, resolv’d

From common forms and rules absolv’d

By manners most anom’lous, then

Monstrari digito” by men.


Others, by elongated face,

Aspect demure, and solemn pace,

Would fain express it heinous guile

To cheerful look, or e’en to smile;

Like Pharisees of olden days

Skill’d in such hypocritic ways.

These cum multis aliis, are

They who by means dissimilar

One object aim at—to appear

Good, patriotic, wise, sincere,

Benevolent, or any thing

Which popular applause may bring.


Not so, the man whose honest heart

Disdains the mean dissembler’s part,

Scorns venal eulogy, and hates

The scrannel honour that awaits

The cringing panderer who bends

To sordid means for selfish ends.

He courts not fame by mawkish tricks,

Or vapid vain harangues prolix;

Nor seeks the praise of brainless wights,

Or march of intellect new-lights.

What virtue, honour, would require,

He seeks TO BE with warm desire:

Desirous good to exercise

To be, than to seem good or wise:

Truth, justice, charity his aim,

Unwarped by praise, unmov’d by blame.


O Ocean! vast, unfathomed, mighty deep;

Thou wilderness of waves—thou unkenn’d keep

Of things unknown, unthought of, and untold,

Which thou in thy wide caverns doth enfold;

Rolling on lands bespangled o’er with gems,

Thy coral groves, parterres of diadems!

Oh! who can tell, what, in thy dark retreats,

Of monsters huge and strange do fix their seats;

Or what of marvels—sights sublime, pertain

To thy great empire, wondrous, mighty main!

Oh! since thou erst thy spray-crown’d boist’rous tide

Dash’d on thy shores, and o’er thy deserts wide,

Or man was born, who with his vent’rous barks

Essays thy trackless paths, and watchful, marks

From thy tumultuous bosom oft, the signs

Kind Heav’n affords, and skilfully defines

His course amid thy proud and wayward waves,

Bounding above thine undiscover’d graves;

Where undisturbed, unnumbered creatures sleep,

While o’er their heads the mountain billows sweep;

Oh! who can tell how many of our kind

Their resting place within thy grave-yards find,

Awaiting in thy boundless solitude

That solemn hour, when all the multitude

Of ages past, waked from their sleep, shall hear

Th’ Archangel’s voice with joy, or melt with fear;—

Shall hear the loudly-pealing thunders roll,

And watch the lightnings flash from pole to pole.

While, ’mid the soul-appalling, awful din

Of mingled elements embroil’d, wherein

Engage the fire, and flood, and earth, and air,

Resounds the Seraph’s awful sentence there,

Pronounc’d in God’s august and mighty name,

That time shall cease—the world dissolved in flame.

Ocean! I love to gaze upon thy wave

What time thy billows some proud headland lave;

To watch thy mountain heaps, thy foaming surge

Roll whirlingly upon thy rocky verge,

In disport such as might beseem a god

Making his pastime in his vassal flood.

Oh! contemplating thee, my wond’ring soul

Would fain aspire beyond this earth’s controul,

And from the visible, high soaring rise

Up to the glories of the blissful skies,

And rev’rent bow before His sacred throne,

Whose holy word, (when new-born nature shone

In vernal youth,) omnipotent in might,

Thus spake, while quail’d thy caverns at his sight:

“Behold thy bound’ries, Ocean! hitherto,

Nor further, shall thy mighty waters flow;

And here shall thy proud angry billows find

Their station, and their limits e’er defin’d;

Through all the lapse of time, obedient still

To my behest—submissive to my will.”



Page 6, line 13, for to Heaven, read to list’ning Heaven.

     8, — 16, for Before, read A while before.

    14, — 16, for monster, read monsters.

    28, — 14, for are found, read is found.

    34, — 14, for et’s banish, read let’s banish.

    42, — 8, for pavillion, read pavilion.

    46, — 14, for zephyr’s, read zephyrs.

    60, — 10, for That had not Judah ’gan to interpose,

                 read That had not Judah chose to interpose.

    71, — 14, for the wakeful mind read the tranquil mind.

    90, — 15, for which, read who.

    91, — 9, for Lo! now the angel reaches Syria’s land,

                 read Lo! now the angel reaches Canaan’s land.

   111, — 14, for eternally, read externally.

   128, — 8, for False, false as hell, read Doth, false as hell.

   184, — 2, for hope, read hopes.

Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been corrected. Where multiple spellings occur, majority use has been employed.

Punctuation has been maintained except where obvious printer errors occur.

[The end of The Hebrew Slave: In Eight Books with Other Poems by Anonymous (A Country Curate)]