Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DARKNESS OF EGYPT, by MARIA ABDY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE DARKNESS OF EGYPT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Lo! Moses stretcheth forth at god's command
Last Line: Enjoy eternal light -- eternal rest!
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Maria; Abdy, Mira; M. A.
Subject(s): Egypt

Lo! Moses stretcheth forth at God's command
His hand to heaven, and at the mystic sign
Thick darkness gathers over Egypt's land;
The glorious lights above no longer shine;
None knows another -- each one rooted stays
By his sad hearth through these appalling days.

And do their captives share their mournful doom?
Must Israel's wretched children gaze in fear
On the dark horrors of surrounding gloom,
Making imprisonment's long hours more drear?
The judgment to redress their wrongs was sent,
And must they then partake the punishment?

They do not share it: favoured is the race
Of injured Israel, and the mists of night
Invade them not; each sees his dwelling-place
Cheered and illumed by its accustomed light:
Dim shadows the oppressor's home molest,
Yet reach not the abode of the opprest.

And thus, when darkness wraps the worldly crowd,
Sad aliens from the brightness of the word
Its sullen influence shall never shroud
The true and faithful servants of the Lord;
Without them is the dreary gloom of sin,
But rays from heaven shall comfort them within.

False accusation, poverty, reproach,
Loss of loved friends, oppression, slavery, pain,
These darkening clouds their dwellings may approach,
Yet strive to quench its holy light in vain:
The flame shall brightly and securely shine,
Kindled and cherished by a hand divine.

And when, amid the gloomy vale of death,
Conscience the sinner's terrors shall enhance,
The firm believer shall, in steadfast faith,
Walk in the light of God's own countenance,
Cast off his bondage, and amid the blest,
Enjoy eternal light -- eternal rest!

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