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ELISHA IN DOTHAN.
'Tis eve; and the tempest
Is rushing through heaven ; The oaks on the hills
By the lightnings are riven ; The rain in the valleys
Falls heavy and chill,
In the bed of the rill.
While the gust bears along
The scoff and the song From Israel's proud tents
In the forest below.
'Tis midnight, deep midnight!
Now vengeance is near! Hark! the tramp of the warrior,
The clash of the spear ; For the Syrian is marching
Through whirlwind and snow, On the revel of Judah
To strike the death blow. His march is but lit
By the tempest's red glare :
No ear hears his tramp
In the Israelite camp: The hunters have driven
The prey to its lair.
“ Now, now, for the slaughter!”
The trumpet is blown;
And woe to the throne !
No arrow has sprung,
No lance has been flung. They pour o'er the ramparts, The tents stand alone;
Through the gust and the haze
The watch-fires still blaze ; But the warriors of Israel .
Like shadows are gone!
Then spake the king's sorcerer ;
“ King, wouldest thou hear, How those Israelite wolves
Have escaped from thy spear;
Has spells to unbind
As the grave, 'twould be known;
The serpent has stings
And the Vulture has wings; But he's serpent and vulture
To thee and thy throne.”
“Sound the trumpet!” They rush
Over mountain and plain. 'Tis noon, but no chieftain
Has slacken'd the rein. 'Tis eve; and the valleys
Are dropping with wine ; But no chieftain has tasted
The fruit of the vine. To Dothan the horseman And mail'd charioteer
Are speeding like fire:
Their banquet is ire, For the scorner of Syria,
Elisha, is there.
On the ramparts of Dothan,
At morning, was woe ; There fell the fierce hail
Of the lance and the bow. And men rent their garments,
And women their hair. But Elisha came forth
From his chamber of prayer ;Like thunder his voice
O’er the multitude roll'd :
“Jehovah, arise :
Pour the light on our eyes : Shew this people the shepherds
Who watch o'er thy fold.”
The mountain horizon
Was burning with light; On its brow stood the Syrian
In glory and might. Proud toss'd to the sunbeam
The banner's rich fold,
And corslets of gold.
“ Ho! Israelite slaves !
This night sees your graves ; And first from your walls
Shall Elisha be flung."
At the word rush'd a cloud
From the crown of the sky;
Upon mountain and plain.
And the sky-tinctured vane ; And the armour of fire,
And the seraph's broad wing;
But no eye-ball dared gaze
On the pomp of the blaze, As their banner unfolded
The name of their KING !
But where are the foe?
Like a forest o'erblown,
Their thousands are strown.
No chariot is wheel’d;
To earth falls the shield.
Thou art smote in thy pride! The Syrian is captive;
His host are struck blind;