The Manna in the Wilderness

The long low streaks of crimson lay
Fringing the level sands,
As night was blushing into day
O'er Israel's pilgrim bands.

Hot went the fiery sun below —
Red-hoThe comes again,
Then what is this like beaded snow
That whitens all the plain?

Never from distant Sinai's height
The frost-wind wandering here
Hath bound in silver fetters bright
The desert parch'd and drear.

Never as gentle as a kiss
The snow flakes falling round
Dropp'd on its breast — then what is this,
Like hoar frost on the ground?

Haste, Israel! press the measure down,
Ere yonder sun have power
To melt the desert's crystal crown —
This is God's manna-shower.

We, to that unreap'd harvest drawn,
Come watch their labours gay,
Who gather, 'neath the fragrant dawn,
Their sweet food day by day.

Our careless lips say day and night,
" Give us our daily bread. "
How little dream we of the might
That erst the manna shed.

The times of old bright pictures bring,
We give them little heed —
That clamouring host, that small white thing
Like coriander seed,

Found, though they never saw it fall,
When the dew left the land —
Are precious types to us, to all,
Of God's sustaining hand; —

Are types of faith in Christ above
That day by day returns,
Hangs on the fulness of His love,
Receives but ever yearns;

Of grace that feeds our inward part
Renew'd but still the same,
The small thing leavening all the heart,
We saw not when it came.

They sought each morn their measure sweet
The food the Lord had given —
Come we each day to Jesus' feet,
And find the bread of Heaven!
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