Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MOUNT SINAI, by HORATIO (HORATIUS) BONAR



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MOUNT SINAI, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: From sinai's top the lightnings flashed
Last Line: For none can see his face and live.
Subject(s): Bible; God; Jews; Moses; Sinai, Mount; Judaism


FROM Sinai's top the lightnings flashed;
The thunders rolled around—around—
As if the heavenly orbs had clashed
Together with destructive bound,
And down their shattered fragments hurled
Upon a desolated world.

And on the mount there hung a cloud,
Dark as the midnight's darkest gloom;
And blew a trumpet long and loud,
Like that which shall wake the tomb.
And terror like a sudden frost
Fell on the Israelitish host.

In radiant fire the mighty God
Descended from the heavenly throne;
And on the mountains where He trod,
A pavement as of sapphire stone
Appeared like glittering stars of even
When storms have left the deep-blue heaven.

And as the wondering people turned
To see the glory of the Lord,
The smoke—as if a furnace burned
Within the mountain, swelled and roared,
And all its lofty summits shook
Like sedge leaves by the summer brook.

And Moses from the trembling crowd
Went up to God's dark secret place
And heard from the surrounding cloud
His message to the Hebrew race,
Who vowed with fervor and accord
To keep the covenant of the Lord.

For they had marked the trump that blew
The fires that gleamed, the peals that roared—
In shadowed glory shine to view
The presence of the eternal Lord,
Bright as His mercy chose to give,
For none can see His face and live.





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