Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
Mount Sinai
By Horatius Bonar
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        5
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.        10
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,        15
  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,        20
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        25
  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.        30
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,        35
For none can see His face and live.

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