Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
The Law Given on Sinai
X. Michael Drayton
NOW when to Sina they approched neare,
God calls vp Moyses to the mount aboue,
And all the rest commaundeth to forbeare,
Nor from the bounds assign’d them to remoue.
For who those limits loosely did exceede,        5
Which were by Moyses mark’d them out beneath,
The Lord had irreuocably decreed
With darts or stones should surely die the death:
Where as the people in a wondrous fright,
(With hearts transfixed euen with frosen blood)        10
Beheld their leader openly in sight
Passe to the Lord, where he in glory stood.
Thunder and lightning led him down the ayre,
Trumpets celestial sounding as he came,
Which struck the people with astounding feare,        15
Himselfe inuested in a splendorous flame.
Sina before him fearfully did shake,
Couer’d all ouer in a smouldering smoake,
As ready the foundation to forsake,
On the dread presence of the Lord to looke.        20
Erect your spirits, and lend attentiue ear,
To marke at Sina what to you is said.
Weake Moyses now you shall not simply heare,
The son of Amram and of Iacobed;
But He that Adam did imparadise,        25
And lent him comfort in his proper blood,
And saued Noah, that did the arke deuise,
When the old world else perish’d in the flood;
To righteous Abraham Canaan franckly lent,
And brought forth Isaac so extreamly late,        30
Jacob so faire and many children sent,
And rais’d chast Joseph to so high estate;
He whose iust hand plagu’d Egypt for your sake,
That Pharaoh’s power so scornefully did mock,
Way for his people through the sea did make,        35
Gaue food from Heauen and water from the rock.
Whilst Moyses now in this cloud-couered hill
Full forty dayes his pure aboade did make,
Whilst that great God, in his almighty will,
With him of all his ordinances spake:        40
The decalogue from which religion tooke
The being; sinne and righteousnesse began
The different knowledge, and the certaine booke
Of testimony betwixt God and man:
The ceremoniall as judicious lawes,        45
From his high wisdome that receiu’d their ground,
Not to be altred in the smallest clause,
But, as their Maker, wondrously profound.
The composition of that sacred phane,
Which as a symbol curiously did shew,        50
What all his six daye’s workmanship containe,
Whose perfect modell his owne finger drew.

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