Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
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Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
 
The Passage of the Red Sea
By Henry Hart Milman
 
ON the sand and sea-weed lying,
Israel poured her doleful sighing,
While before the deep sea flowed,
And behind fierce Egypt rode,
To their fathers’ God they prayed,        5
To the Lord of Hosts for aid.
 
On the margin of the flood
With lifted rod the prophet stood;
And the summoned east wind blew,
And aside it sternly threw        10
The gathered waves that took their stand,
Like crystal rocks, on either hand,
Or walls of sea-green marble piled
Round some irregular city wild.
 
Then the light of morning lay        15
On the wonder-paved way,
Where the treasures of the deep
In their caves of coral sleep.
The profound abysses, where
Was never sound from upper air,        20
Rang with Israel’s chanted words:
King of king and Lord of lords!
 
Then, with bow and banner glancing,
On exulting Egypt came,
With her chosen horsemen prancing,        25
And her cars on wheels of flame,
In a rich and boastful ring,
All around her furious king.
 
But the Lord from out his cloud—
The Lord looked down upon the proud,        30
As the host drave heavily
Down the deep bosom of the sea.
With a quick and sudden swell
Prone the liquid ramparts fell;
Over horse and over car,        35
Over every man of war,
Over Pharaoh’s crown of gold,
The loud thundering billows rolled.
As the level water spread,
Down they sank, they sank like lead,        40
Down without a cry or groan.
And the morning sun that shone
On myriads of bright-armed men,
Its meridian radiance then
Cast on a wide sea, heaving as of yore        45
Against a silent, solitary shore.
Then did Israel’s maidens sing,
Then did Israel’s timbrels ring,
To Him, the King of kings that in the sea
The Lord of lords had triumphed gloriously!        50
 
 
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