Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
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W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
 
The Flight into Egypt
John Moultrie (1799–1874)
 
THROUGH the desert wild and dreary,
  Following tracks explored by few,
Sad at heart, and worn, and weary,
  We our toilsome march pursue.
O’er our heads with blaze unclouded        5
  Burns the fierce and fiery noon;
Pestilence in darkness shrouded
  Near us walks beneath the moon.
 
O’er the steep and pathless mountain
  Oft with bleeding feet we climb;        10
Scarce to taste the desert fountain—
  Human hate allows no time.
Israel’s homes lie far behind us,
  Yet we pause not to look back,
Lest the keen pursuer find us,        15
  Lest grim murder scent our track.
 
Eagles o’er our heads are whirling,
  Each careering towards her nest;
E’en the wolf and fox are stealing
  To the covert of their rest;        20
Every foul and noxious creature
  Finds on earth its lair and bed;
But the Infant Lord of Nature
  Hath not where to lay his head.
 
Yes, my babe, sweet sleep enfolds Thee        25
  On Thy fainting mother’s arm;
God in His great love beholds thee,
  Angels guard thy rest from harm.
Earth and hell in vain beset Thee,
  Kings against thy life conspire;        30
But our God can ne’er forget thee,
  Nor His arm that shields thee, tire.
 
Where is now our peaceful dwelling?
  Wrapt perchance in vengeful flame;
Ruffian voices round it yelling        35
  Curses on thy gentle name.
Woe to Bethlehem’s matrons, keeping
  Tenderest watch above their dead!
Rachel for her children weeping,
  Knows not to be comforted.        40
 
Woe to them!—and yet their anguish
  Fades before what mine must be;
Doom’d to see my lov’d one languish
  Through this life’s long misery.
Doom’d to see Earth’s hate expended        45
  On his meek and lowly head,
Till his weary task is ended—
  Till his sinless blood is shed.
 
Heavenly hope shall soothe their sorrow,
  When the grass begins to wave,        50
After many a dreary morrow,
  Freshly o’er each infant grave.
I alone to rest a stranger,
  Must behold with aching eye,
O’er my child distress and danger        55
  Gathering still incessantly.
 
But forbear, my sinful spirit,
  Of thy chastening to complain;
Gladly let me here inherit
  Toil and sorrow, care and pain!        60
Welcome Earth’s most dread vexations!
  Welcome anguish and distress!
Since my name all generations
  For a Saviour’s love shall bless.
 
 
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