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 First Song of Moses
By George Wither
 
Exodus xv

I
NOW shall the praises of the Lord be sung;
  For he a most renowned Triumph won:
Both horse and men into the sea he flung.
  And them together there hath overthrown.
The Lord is he whose strength doth make me strong        5
And he is my salvation and my song:
My God, for whom I will a house prepare
My father’s God whose praise I will declare.
 
II
Well knows the Lord to war what doth pertain,
  The Lord Almighty is his glorious name;        10
He Pharaoh’s chariots, and his arméd train
  Amid the sea o’erwhelming, overcame;
Those of his army that are most renowned
He hath together in the Red Sea drown’d,
The deeps a covering over them were thrown,        15
And to the bottom sunk they like a stone.
 
III
Lord, by thy power thy right hand famous grows;
  Thy right hand, Lord, thy foe destroyéd hath;
Thy glory thy opposers overthrows,
  And stubble-like consumes them in thy wrath.        20
A blast but from thy nostrils forth did go
And up together did the waters flow;
Yea, rolled up on heaps the liquid flood
Amid the sea, as if congealèd, stood.
 
IV
I will pursue them (their pursuer cried),
        25
  I will o’ertake them, and the spoil enjoy;
My lust upon them shall be satisfied;
  With sword unsheathed my hand shall them destroy.
Then from thy breath a gale of wind was sent;
The billows of the sea quite o’er them went.        30
And they the mighty waters sunk into
E’en as a weighty piece of lead will do.
 
V
Lord, who like thee among the Gods is there!
  In holiness so glorious who may be!
Whose praises so exceeding dreadful are!        35
  In doing wonders, who can equal thee!
Thy glorious right hand thou on high didst rear,
And in the earth they quickly swallowed were,
But thou in mercy onward hast conveyed
Thy people, whose redemption thou hast paid.        40
 
VI
Them by thy strength thou hast been pleased to bear
  Unto a holy dwelling place of thine;
The nations at report thereof shall fear,
  And grieve shall they that dwell in Palestine.
On Edom’s princes shall amazement fall;        45
The mighty men of Moab tremble shall
And such as in the land of Canaan dwell,
Shall pine away, of this when they hear tell.
 
VII
They shall be seizéd with a horrid fear.
  Stone-quiet thy right hand shall make them be,        50
Till passéd over, Lord, thy people are;
  Till those pass over, that were brought by thee.
For thou shalt make them to thy hill repair,
And plant them there (O Lord) where thou art heir,
E’en there where thou thy dwelling hast prepared,        55
That holy place which thine own hands have reared.
 
VIII
The Lord shall ever and forever reign,
  His sovereignty shall never have an end:
For when as Pharaoh did into the main
  With chariots and with horsemen, down descend,        60
The Lord did back again the sea recall,
And with those waters overwhelm’d them all.
But through the very inmost of the same
The seed of Israel safe and dry-shod came.
 
 
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