Exodus

HEAR ye not how, from all high points of Time, —
From peak to peak adown the mighty chain
That links the ages,— echoing sublime
A Voice Almighty, — leaps one grand refrain,
Wakening the generations with a shout,
And trumpet-call of thunder, — Come ye out!
Out from old forms and dead idolatries ;
From fading myths and superstitious dreams ;
From Pharisaic rituals and lies,
And all the bondage of the life that seems !
Out, — on the pilgrim path, of heroes trod,
Over earth’s wastes, to reach forth after God !
The Lord hath bowed His heaven, and come down !
Now, in this latter century of time,
Once more His tent is pitched on Sinai’s crown !
Once more in clouds must Faith to meet Him climb !
Once more His thunder crashes on our doubt
And fear and sin,—“ My people ! come ye out!
“ From false ambitions and base luxuries ;
From puny aims and indolent self-ends ;
From cant of faith, and shams of liberties,
And mist of ill that Truth’s pure daybeam bends :
Out, from all darkness of the Egypt-land,
Into My sun-blaze on the desert sand !
“ Leave ye your flesh-pots ; turn from filthy greed
Of gain that doth the thirsting spirit mock ;
And heaven shall drop sweet manna for your need,
And rain clear rivers from the unhewn rock !
Thus saith the Lord !” And Moses — meek, unshod —
Within the cloud stands hearkening to his God !
Show us our Aaron, with his rod in flower !
Our Miriam, with her timbrel-soul in tune !
And call some Joshua, in the Spirit’s power,
To poise our sun of strength at point of noon !
God of our fathers ! over sand and sea,
Still keep our struggling footsteps close to Thee !