Ode to Jehovah


In high Jehovah's praise, my strain
Of triumph shall the Chorus lead,
Who plung'd beneath the rolling main,
The horseman with his vaunted steed.
Dread breaker of our servile chains!
By whom our arm in strength remains,
The scented algum forms thy car:
Our father's God, thy name we raise
Beyond the bounds of mortal praise,
The chieftain and the Lord of war.

Far, in the caverns of the deep,
Their chariots sunk to rise no more,
And Pharaoh's mighty warriors sleep,
Where the Red-sea's huge monsters roar.
Plung'd like a rock amid the wave,
Around their heads the billows lave,
Down — down the yawning gulph they go:
Dash'd by the high expanded hand
To pieces, on the pointed sand,
That lines the shelving rocks below.

What lambent lightenings round thee gleam,
Thy foes in blackening heaps to strew!
As o'er wide fields of stubble, stream
The flames, in undulations blue:
And lo the waters of the deep
Swell in one enormous heap,
Collected at thy nostrils breath:
The bosom of the abyss reveal'd,
Wall'd with huge chrystal waves, congeal'd,
Yawns hideous as the gate of death.

" Swift steeds of Egypt, speed your course,
" And swift, ye scythed chariots, roll;
" Not Ocean's bed impedes our force,
" Red vengeance soon shall glut our soul;
" Soon shall the sabre sharp embrue
" Its glimmering edge in gory dew. " —
Impatient cried the exulting foe;
When, ponderous as a mass of lead,
They sink, and sudden o'er their head
The bursting waves impetuous flow.

But THOU , in whose sublime abode
Resistless might and mercy dwell,
Our voices, high o'er every God,
To thee, the lofty lay shall swell.
Outstretch'd, we saw thy red right-hand,
The earth her solid jaws expand;
Down, down the gulph, alive, they sink,
While we, within the incumbent main,
Beheld the tumbling floods, in vain
Storm on our narrow pathway's brink.

But far as Fame's shrill notes resound,
With dire dismay the nations hear;
Old Edom's sons, in war renown'd,
And Moab's warriors melt with fear;
The petrifying tale disarms
The might of Canaan's countless swarms;
Appalled their heroes sink supine;
No mailed bands with thrilling cry
The bannered Hebrew host defy,
That moves to conquer Palestine.

Nor burning sands our course invade,
Where Nature's glowing embers lie;
But led by THEE , we safely tread
Beneath the furnace of the sky.
To fields where fertile olives twine
Their branches with the clustering vine,
Soon shalt THOU Jacob's armies bring,
To plant them, by thy mighty hand,
Where the proud towers of Salem stand;
While J AO reigns their warrior king.

Low in the deep's unfathomed caves,
The warrior's rest, of Mazur's land,
Save when the surge that idly raves,
Heaves their cold corses on the sand.
With courage unappalled, in vain
They rush'd within the channel'd main;
Their heads the billows folded o'er;
While THOU thy chosen host hast led,
Through the green Ocean's coral bed,
To ancient Edom's palmy shore.
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