BETA

MOSES SAVED FROM THE WATERS.

I.

Maidens arise !  for the silver stream1
Is glancing beneath the day’s first beam ;2
The reapers task is not begun,3
And the river’s bank is wholly ours ;4
Scarce can we bear the city’s hum,5
And our frolics ’mid these leafy bowers6
Will be witness’d only by the sun.7

II.

Ah ! brighter far than the gilded dome,8
Or the gems and gold of my palace home9
Are the flowers our footsteps press :10
Sweet to my ear are the varied chants11
Of the tufted grove’s inhabitants ;12
Than rarest perfumes drawn from plants13
Sweeter the Zephyr’s balminess.14
A group of Egyptian women discover the baby Moses in a basket as he is floating down the Nile river. Grasses and palm trees line the bank. One figure pulls aside the bulrushes to look at the baby. In the foreground, another figure leans on a basket on the banks of the river, looking toward the ground. In the background, figures carry tools and baskets, walking toward the scene. In the distance, there is a pyramid and a colosseum as well as flying birds. 3/4 page contained within a single-ruled border.

III.

Still is the stream, the sky is clear,15
We will leave our gauzy vestments here,16
The sport of the gentle wind.17
Detach my crown, and let us brave18
The murmuring river’s placid wave19
With tresses unconfined.20

IV.

Haste ! but athwart the morning haze21
What object meets my doubtful gaze ?22
Look, maidens, look ! nor fear23
An aged palm, by tempests rent,24
Down from its desert home is sent,25
To pay a visit here.26

V.

No,—if such transient glance may tell,27
’Tis Heimus’ bark, or Iris’ shell,28
Impell’d by breezes mild :29
No,—’tis a skiff, where lies at rest,30
Calmly as on a mother’s breast,31
A tender, lovely child.32

VI.

He sleeps,—and one might deem the nest,33
Borne on the changeful wavelet’s breast34
Contain’d a spotless dove35
Floating the sport of every wave,36
Rock’d as if cradled in his grave,37
So calm the waters move.38

VII.

He wakes ! oh hasten, maidens dear !39
He weeps ! what mother without fear40
Could risk such innocence ?41
He spreads his arms—the waters—hark !42
Are rougher—Is a fragile bark43
Of reeds his sole defence ?44

VIII.

It is perchance a Hebrew child,45
Doom’d by my father’s mandate wild46
To perish from the earth.47
Sweet babe ! I will thy mother be,48
And thou shalt owe thy life to me,49
Though not thy birth50

IX.

Thus spoke the Pharoah’s daughter, while51
Her joyous band beside the Nile,52
Follow’d her motions wild :53
Fairest of all she doff’d her dress,54
And in her native loveliness55
Appear’d Old Ocean’s child.56

X.

The water ripples o’er her feet,57
As acting on the impulse sweet,58
She touch’d the limpid tide.59
The ark seh seizes,—O’er her brow,60
Pleased with her burden, came a glow61
Of purity and pride.62

XI.

Parting the wave the tangled reeds displacing,63
She gently steps, the rescued infant placing64
On the damp strand ;65
While one by one, touch’d by his helplessness,66
A kiss upon his snowy brow to impress67
Advanced the maiden band.68

XII.

Woman ! who for thy child hast fondly craved69
Thy God’s protection, see him saved70
Nor strive thy joy to smother :71
Approach, embrace thy Moses—neither tears72
Nor transport will betray thy fears,73
Iphis is not a mother74

XIII.

Then, when the maid elate and triumphing75
Carried the boy before the dreaded king76
With all but mother’s feeling,77
Thus sang the choir of angels, high above78
Veiling with wings of snow their looks of love79
Their Maker’s praise revealing :80

XIV.

Weep no more, Jacob, in this land of woe,81
Increase not with thy tears the sluggish flow82
Of Nile, hasten to Jordan’s strand.83
The day arrives, when Goshen’s land shall see84
(Spite of the hostile ranks) both blest and free85
The captive band.86

XV.

A feeble infant floating on the surge,87
Chosen of God, and by His power a scourge,88
Was rescued from the wave.89
Ye that deny your God, from this be taught90
That as a babe for ancient Israel fought,91
A Babe the world shall save.”92