Under the Cloud and Through the Sea

So moved they, when false Pharaoh’s legion pressed,
Chariots and horsemen following furiously,—
Sons of old Israel, at their God’s behest,
Under the cloud and through the swelling sea.
So passed they, fearless, where the parted wave,
With cloven crest uprearing from the sand,—
A solemn aisle before, — behind, a grave,—
Rolled to the beckoning of Jehovah’s hand.
So led He them, in desert marches grand,
By toils sublime, with test of long delay,
On, to the borders of that Promised Land
Wherein their heritage of glory lay.
And Jordan raged along his rocky bed,
And Amorite spears flashed keen and fearfully:
Still the same pathway must their footsteps tread,—
Under the cloud and through the threatening sea.
God works no otherwise. No mighty birth
But comes by throes of mortal agony;
No man-child among nations of the earth
But findeth baptism in a stormy sea.
Sons of the Saints who faced their Jordan-flood
In fierce Atlantic’s unretreating wave, —
Who by the Red Sea of their glorious blood
Reached to the Freedom that your blood shall save !
O Countrymen 1 God’s day is not yet done!
He leaveth not His people utterly!
Count it a covenant, that He leads us on
Beneath the Cloud and through the crimson Sea !