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And be his mate hereafter in the heavens
XXXIX.-THE BURIAL OF JACOB.
(REV. J. D. BURNS.) DIr. Burus is author of "The Vision of Prophecy, and other poen.g."
It is a solemn cavalcade, and slow,
That comes from Egypt; never had the land, Save when a Pharaoh died, such pomp of woe
Beheld; never was bier by such a band Of princely mourners followed, and the grand Gloom of that strange funereal armament Saddened the wondering cities as it went.
In Goshen he had died, that region fair
Which stretches east from Nilus to the wave
Of the great Gulf; and since he could not bear
To lay his ashes in an alien grave,
He charged his sons to bear them to the cave Where slumbered all his kin, that from life's cares And weariness his dust might rest with theirs.
For seventy days through Egypt ran the cry
Of woe, for Joseph wept: and now there came Along with him the rank and chivalry
Of Pharaoh's court,—the flower of Egypt's fame;
High captains, chief estates, and lords of name, The prince, the priest, the warrior, and the sage, Made haste to join in that sad pilgrimage.
The hoary elders in their robes of state
Were there, and sceptred judges; and the sight Of their pavilions pitched without the gate
Was pleasant; chariots with their trappings bright
Stood round,—till all were met, and every rite
Its very gloom was gorgeous; and the sound
Of brazen chariots, and the measured feet Of stately pacing steeds upon the ground,
Seemed, by its dead and dull monotonous beat,
A burden to that march of sorrow meet; With music Pharaoh's minstrels would have come Had Joseph wished,—'twas better they were dumb.
They pass by many a town then famed or feared,
But quite forgotten now; and over ground Then waste, on which in after time were reared
Cities whose names were of familiar sound
For centuries,—Bubastus, and renowned
The fiery sons of Ishmael, as they scour
The stony glens of Paran with their hordes,
Watch their array afar, but dread their power:
Here first against mankind they drew their swords
In open warfare; as the native lords
But unmolested now the mourners pass,
Till distant trees, like signs of land, appear, And pleasantly they feel the yielding grass
Beneath their feet, and in the morning clear
They see with joy the hills of Canaan near; The camels scent the freshness of the wells, Far hidden in the depth of leafy dells.
At length they reach a valley opening fair
With harvest field and homestead in the sweep Of olive-sprinkled hills, where they prepare
The solemn closing obsequies to keep;
For an appointed time they rest, and weep With ceaseless lamentation, and the land Rings with a grief it cannot understand.
The rites thus duly paid, they onward went
Across the eastern hills, and rested not Till, slowly winding up the last ascent,
They see the walls of Hebron, and the spot
To him they bore so dear and unforgot, Where the dark cypress and the sycamore Weave their deep shadows round the rock-hewn door.
Now Jacob rests where all his kindred are,
The exile from the land in which of old His fathers lived and died, he comes from far
To mix his ashes with their mortal mould.
There where he stood with Esau, in the cold
They laid him close by Leah, where she sleeps
Far from her Syrian home, and never knows
That Reuben kneels beside her feet and weeps,
Nor glance of kindly recognition throws
Upon her stately sons from that repose; His Rachel rests far-sundered from his side, Upon the way to Bethlehem, where she died.
Sleep on, 0 weary saint! thy bed is blessed;
Thou, with the pilgrim-staff of faith, hast passed Another Jordan into endless rest:
Well may they sleep who can serenely cast
A look behind, while darkness closes fast Upon their path, and breathe thy parting word, “For Thy salvation I have waited, Lord!”
XL.-SHIPWRECK IN DUBLIN BAY.
Yet Memory weeps
Wrought in their souls, and all the joys of home