Upasana Bora

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By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning. ..

  • Phone Number *** - **** 290
  • E-Mailbrownmouse570***@******.***
  • Birthday29 April 1985
  • Education -
  • Address Rue Louis-Garrand No: 290
  • CityCaen
  • CountryFrance

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About upasana bora

In the dead hush and darkness of the night,
While in the garden all alone he walked;
For Israel mourning, pleading with his God,--
To Moses came a Voice,--the words of man
Uttering distinct, but with no mortal tongue.
Calm as the sigh of eve through Lebanon's groves;
Yet vast as murmur of all seas in one;
Deeper than thunder of sky--cleaving world,--
Seeming all space to fill,--from highest heaven
Descending, thus the Voice Celestial spake.

''Israel is not forgotten of his God,
And surely shall be loosed. Against you now
Pharaoh is hard. At morning get thee forth.
Unto the water, lo! he goeth out.
Beside the river's brink, against he come,
Shalt thou stand waiting him; and in thine hand
The rod shalt take, that was to serpent turned.
And thou shalt say unto him, 'the Lord God
Of Israel me hath sent unto thee, saying;
Let thou my people go, that they may serve
Their God within the wilderness; for, behold,
Hitherto wouldst thou not. Thus saith the Lord;
In this shalt thou be taught that I am God;
Lo! with the rod which is within mine hand,
The waters of the river will I smite,
That they shall turn to blood. The fish shall die;
The river stink; and the Egyptians loathe
To drink the water.'....But even yet his heart
Will hardened be; and yet again the hand
Of God must fall upon him.'' Ceased the Voice;
And the earth trembled. Long time on his face,
Awe--stricken, yet in ecstacy divine,
Lay Moses,--man, and all the world, forgot,
In sense of that great Presence: but at length,
Loud choiring near at hand, the nightingales
From the deep trance awoke him: he arose;
And, with clasped hands, bowed head, and prayer--filled heart,
His chamber sought; and soon, in calm repose,
Dreaming of heaven, was wrapped. At early morn,
With Aaron toward the river he went forth,
And by its brink took stand; awaiting there
The coming of the king. Them, yet far off,
Saw Pharaoh, and was wrathful. O'er his face
A darkness gathered; and his angry eye,
Speechless, spake out, ''Now get ye from my sight,
For I do loathe your aspect!'' But, serene
Stood they, expecting: till, when near them now
The frowning monarch drew,--bending the head,
With reverence meet, his right hand Moses raised,
Betokening wish to speak. Him, with the tone
Of harsh displeasure, Pharaoh thus addressed.

''Again? No day, no hour, may I be free
From thy vexation? What hast thou to say,
Which yesterday thou saidst not, and in vain?
By blow on blow the smith hard iron shapes;
And me, perchance, by ceaseless harassment,
Thou'dst hope to bend, till to thy prayer I yield,
And let you go: thou'lt find thy labor lost:
Or, if not lost, in your own loss to end:
In sharper scourgings, and in harder work,
On your obdúrate people. If aught new
Thou hast to say, speak quickly: else, depart.''

Then Moses answered: ''Not of mine own thoughts,
But as commanded, speak I. The Lord God
Of Israel me hath sent unto thee, saying;
'Let thou my people go, that they may serve
Their God within the wilderness; for, behold,
Hitherto wouldst thou not. Thus saith the Lord;
In this shalt thou be taught that I am God:
Lo! with the rod which is within mine hand,
The waters of the river will I smite,
That they shall turn to blood. The fish shall die;
The river stink; and the Egyptians loathe
To drink the water.''' When those words he heard,--
With a great utterance spoken; and with look
Majestic more than man's,--within his heart
Pharaoh was troubled, and awhile stood mute.
But they who with him were,--priests, sorcerers, lords,--
Mocked at the threatenings; and the spiteful laugh
One to the other passed,--though privily,
Because that Pharaoh yet had answered not,--
Hoping thus most to incense him. Well the king
Their smothered gibings heard; but secret dread
O'ermastered him, on those portentous words
Gloomily musing; and the fearful thing
Of the day past remembering. ''Not more strange,''
So ran his thoughts, ''of water to make blood,
Than of dead staff a living dragon make.
And that dread sequence,--death to all that lives
Within the river; and the sacred stream
With rottenness filled, and stench--that neither man
Nor beast thereof shall drink! What if such power,
Through Israel's God, to that mysterious man,
Truly be given; and the terrific threat
In act should end! how longer might I strive
Against that pestilent people! Blood to drink,
Or die of thirst! in blood to wash, or lie
Like swine in filthiness! on blood to gaze,
In place of those pure rivers, fountains, wells,
Bright springs, and sunny brooks!--abhorrëd thought!
The land would be one lazar--house; one den
Of beastlike madmen! one huge grave, at last,
Uncovered from the birds obscene, and beasts,
Where a whole people, rotten ere they died,
With stench would taint the sky! 'Gainst power like that,
All struggle vain! submit at once I must!
Ten thousand lands, at such price held enslaved,
Worthless would be as dirt; nay, all the gold
Of Egypt flung to Israel, would be gain,--
Their riddance buying, and so 'scaping Plague!....
But, what if insolent boast alone that threat;--
How would the juggler laugh! and how, unproved,
Truth were it known, or falsehood? Plague itself
Scarce worse to bear, than sting of burning shame,
Too late to find, that bold--faced lies alone,
Egypt's great king had coward made, and fool.
Intolerable! All things will I dare,
Rather than such shame risk!'' His eyes shot fire,
His face was flushed and anxious, as, at length,
Hastily turning,--with low, tremulous voice,
Thus to his priests and rulers he began.

''What think ye? This strange summons should we heed?
This threat believe; and, the foul plague to escape,
At once let Israel go?....Or, the man's words
Poor boasting shall we deem; or insolent lies,--
The king to scare, and mock?....Who is this God
From whom he threateneth? Who hath heard of him
His birth, his dwelling place, his power, his rank
'Mong other Gods?....Or is he but a dream,--
A fiction all, in whose pretended name,
This Moses hath wrought magic damnable;
Making from that dead staff,--as ye beheld,--
A living dragon, vast and terrible?
And now again, with that same staff, worse thing
He threateneth,--even with blood the land to drench,
That water shall be none; all fish shall die;
The river stink! Is this thing possible?
Or through his God,--if any such there is,--
Or through a magic mightier than all else
The earth hath known,--may he this horror work?''

Then Sethos, stepping forward, on his arm
The troubled monarch touched, and softly thus;
''Father, thy soul for nought is now perplexed:
Thy priests, lords, rulers, at this threat make mock;
And thy magicians boldly challenge give,
All feats of sorcery which this man can work,
Themselves, in part, to do: and, for his God,
A shadow they esteem him; a pretence;
A name of nothing; a mere screen to hide
The cunning work of magic. Let him try
His spells upon the river: failing there,
Even to his grave the gibe will follow him;--
All his great blustering, like a bubble, burst;--
And, to his future threatenings, the great laugh
Best answer be. That, by some magic sleight,
Semblance of blood to water he may give,--
Thy sorcerers deny not; but, in truth,
A river to make blood,--impossible
They hold, as out of pebbles to make bread;
Or bring from heaven the stars; or, in the sea,
Plant the great mountains. But, come even the worst
Through his strong sorcery,--power that sends the plague,
As powerful is to stay it: time enough
For loosing Israel, when the profit more
From loosing, than from holding. But, at once,
Dismayed by insolent and lying boast,
The costliest jewel of thy crown to yield,--
Unworthy of thee, every voice would cry,--
A treason to thy people, and thyself!
Defy him then, O Splendor of the Sun:
Let him his worst essay: or, wiser course,
Arrest his juggling: try if his best spells,
Or links of steel, are stronger. Where he stands,
Let him be fettered; and his wizard staff
Be cast into the water,--there to work
Its best, or worst; while we look on, and laugh.
If now thou yield,--for aye is Israel lost;
Egypt for ever mocked: if now thou strike,--
For aye triumphant Egypt,--Israel bound!''

Stirred by his demon, thus, with look inflamed,
The doomed prince spake: and him the admiring sire
In low tone answered. ''Wisely, son beloved,
Hast thou given counsel. Yet, the nobler course,
Not to arrest, but to defy his power;
And so to prove it. If indeed his might
This Nile could turn to blood,--far easier 'twere,
Fetters of steel, and prison walls, to break.
That which he saith,--he can, or can not do:
Prove that he can,--and Israel must be loosed,
Or Egypt be a grave: prove that he fail,--
A pyramid of mocks will on him lie,
And Israel still be ours.'' Speaking aloud,
To Moses then he turned; and harshly thus.

''Thy bold demand we have considered well;
And thus reply. We know not of thy God,
Nor of his power: but in our own gods trust;
And thine, and thee defy. Stretch then thy rod,
And work thy wonders: make thy boasting good;
And, afterwards, may we give ear to thee:
But, fail,--and by Osiris do I swear,
Such shall thy punishment be, as dread shall bring
On nations yet unborn.'' A moment, mute
Stood Moses,--on the angry--visaged king
Mournfully looking: then to Aaron turned,
And said; ''Take thou the rod, and stretch thine hand,
And smite the river.'' Close unto the brink
Slowly walked Aaron; in his hand the staff.
Impatient to behold,--yet with the words
Of mockery on their tongues,--priests, sorcerers, lords,
Pressed forward: while the prince on Pharaoh's hand
Eagerly seized; and, laughing, drew him on.
''Sport shall we have, my father,'' whispered he;
''For, by old Aaron's trembling lip, I see
He knoweth the lie, and punishment doth fear.
Prithee now, father, give them to my hands:
Their sentence shall be light; for merriment,
Rather than vengeance. I would only fling
The conjurer and his wand into the stream;
So to prove which is mightier,--he, or Nile.
But haste; he lifts the rod.'' Two eager steps,
Close to the brink brought son and father both;
From Aaron so short distance, that the staff,
Thitherward stretched, had touched them. On each hand,
With heads out--thrust, and mocking look, and smile,
Thronged all the rest; now glancing at the rod;
Now at the water; now the lifted arm;
Now the pale countenance, quivering with the sense
Of the God--power within. Slowly, at length,
As loth to strike, Aaron stretched out the rod:
With large bright eyes upturned, and quivering lips,
On heaven a moment gazed; then downward looked,
And smote the water. As when fire breaks out
In a thick--peopled dwelling; cry and shriek
From all within are heard; the hurry of feet,
Pressings, and strugglings, who shall first escape,--
Even so, when on the river fell the rod,
Burst forth, from king, prince, rulers, sorcerers, lords,
A howl of frenzied terror: shuddering, sick,
Astounded nigh to madness, back they ran,
Thrusting and stumbling; covering each the eyes,
And the gorge heaving,--as from sight and stench
Of a foul grave--pit flying. For, behold!
To meet the rod, in a great wave arose
The water, as from fountain underneath,
With violence bursting,--but the wave was blood!
Had the great earth been living thing, even thus,
From her pierced heart, the torrent might have gushed.
Rolling and writhing, like a dying snake,
Water 'gainst blood made battle,--but soon sank,
O'ermastered; and one vast vermilion stream,
Like liquid fire, tossing and boiling, ran,
To affright the peaceful sea. With death--spasm struck,
High from the gory flood great fish leaped up;
And smaller fry in shoals, all quivering;
Their gleaming sides,--silver, and pearl, and gold,--
In red slime quenched. The unwieldy river--horse,
Like a huge jelly of gore, came floundering out,
Blinded, and fearful; snorting hideously.
The crocodile, beside the bank asleep,
Or, with half opened eye, awaiting prey,--
By the dread wave o'erwhelmed, upstarted quick;
And, belly to the ground, in wild affright,
Like a great fiery lizard, open--jawed,
Fled the unnatural stream. The snow--white birds
That rode the crystal river,--screaming shrill,
Rose, crimson--breasted; and, with blood--tipped wings
Rapidly clanging, terror--stricken flew.

But, with calm spirit,--conscious that of God
The humble servants they,--beside the bank
Moses and Aaron stood; in wonder fixed,
And awe; yet fearing not; nay with strong hope
Uplifted, that now speedily must come
The day of Israel's freedom. The great hand
Of God thus visibly outstretched to save,--
Nor earth, nor hell the mighty work could stay.
Silent then stood they, marking how the flood,
Far as the eye could reach, both toward the sea,
And upward toward its source,--all blood rolled on,
Gurgling and frothing; small fish, numberless,
Like dead leaves floating; and the ocean--kind,
In the death--struggle, blind and suffocate,
Helplessly wallowing. Yet not quiet long
Thus stood they gazing; for, priests, sorcerers, lords,--
Like men from hideous dreams upstarting quick,
And the false terror spurning,--all at once,
All demon--fired together, round them came,
Fierce, open--mouthed, like wild dogs on their prey;
Alike all eager their sharp fangs to fix;
Alike with one false thought inspired; one hope,
The miracle to disprove; the king to arm,
As in a mail of adamant, 'gainst all shafts
Of truth from Israel's quiver. But their tongues,
Clamorously sounding, suddenly were checked:
For Pharaoh,--by the great arch fiend himself
Inflamed to madness,--toward the Israelites,
With threatening arm outstretched, and angry look,
Walked rapidly; and sending forth his voice
Storm--like, roared out, ''Impostors are ye both!
By your vile art ye make us to see lies!
Ye have not changed the water into blood;
But, by black magic, have our sight bewitched,
To see what is not. Pure as ever runs
The sacred stream; and by all other men,
Not blinded by your spells, so would be seen:
Nay, at this very moment, so is seen
By thousands, far and near, whom your foul art
Hath reached not: and, ere long, even by ourselves,
Pure will be seen again; when from our eyes
Shall pass your mischief. But, though sight be fooled,
Our reason is not;--that ye cannot touch:
And, by that ruled, we know that falsehood all
Is this ye show us: proof of magic skill,
Incredible till now; but of nought else;
No proof that God--sent are ye; proof of nought,
Save your own cunning, falsehood, insolence:
And nought deserving, save such punishment
As should, throughout all ages yet to come,
Stagger the wicked. I command you now;
Undo your spell; and let our eyes again
See truth: or, if ye will not, look to feel
Ills that are real, and not cheats of sense;
Substance, not pictures; solid, crushing rocks;
Not shadows ye may walk through. Answer me:
But, first, bethink you: for, as men ye are,
Who stand before an earthquake's gaping jaws;
At the next step to turn,--or headlong go
Down to perdition.'' Trembling in his rage,
There ceased he; but his eyes shot living fire
Full in the face of Moses; and his hands,
Hard--clenched, hung quivering; as if blows, not words,
Best had his fury spoken. All unmoved
By such outrageous speech, and looks, then thus
Moses made answer. ''That a great deceit
Is on thee, king, hereafter wilt thou know,
As now we know it: yet, deceit of sense,
Through any act of magic by us wrought,
None is it; but a cloud by passion raised;
Or foul delusion, by some Spirit of Ill
Whispered within thy heart. That which thine eye
Beholdeth, is a truth: your sacred stream,
Once crystal water, veritable blood
Now hath become. Taste, try it how you will;
Call your fair maidens; bid them in the stream
Wash their white garments; hither lead your flocks,
Your horses, or your mules, that they may drink:
All tests ye can devise, try heedfully;
And, where we stand, there slay us, if the proof
Gainsay that this is blood. Nor thy command,
A spell to undo, and thus to change again
The witness of your eyes,--can we obey;
For, not our own, but an Almighty hand,
Through ours, hath wrought;--we but the instruments,
As, to our hands, that rod was instrument.
Of its own will, might the dead wood as well,
Aught that we did, undo, as, of our will,
That which through us was done, might we undo.
Thy bidding, therefore, can we not obey:
Nor would we, if we could; for, God, and thou,
Diversely ordering,--less than sunbeam--mote
To the great sun, thy bidding against His.
And, though in verity before our feet
Earth to its centre gaped; yet, in the path
By God commanded, walking,--with firm heart
On should we still; for neither sea, nor fire,
Nor sword, nor bottomless pit, that man can harm
Who His work doeth.'' When these words he heard,--
With great power spoken,--and the countenance
When he beheld, all shining, as with light
From its own substance issuing,--in the king
A new amazement rose; and silently,
On Moses gazing, stood he: but the prince,
Lords, priests, and sorcerers, 'mong themselves talked loud;
Wondering, yet angry. By his demon, at length,
Stirred, and instructed, Mascron, the sorcerer,
Forth stepping from the rest, before the king
Went boldly, bowed the head, and thus began.

''Light of the Sun! forgive thy servant now,
That other thought than thine he dares to speak.
Not a mere juggle to the eye is this,--
As to thee seemeth,--but, in verity,
A stroke of magic, that to blood hath changed
The water of the river: a great stroke,
Yea, wonderful; and more than power of spells,
Till now, hath done. But, nought of God is it;
No proof that these two Israelites, from heaven
To thee are sent, the will Divine to speak;--
For, even the self--same miracle, our art
Also can work,--though in a less degree;
Since in that craft is our experience less,
Our knowledge less;--for alway, from his birth,
In deepest mysteries was this Moses taught;
Alway for the dark knowledge did he thirst;
Alway did drink, and never was sufficed:
So that, in potency of magic, none,
Even from his youth, to him was equal found.
But, though now blood the river is,--true blood,--
Yet not for aye: the circle of the hours
Fulfilled, the power of sorcery will fade;
The stream again be water: and the fish,
Thus floating dead, to life will come anew;
And all things be, as this had never been.
Prove now, O king, our skill the like to do:
And, if we fail, then give to these belief
That by God--power, not magic, have they worked;
And that, God--sent, they speak the will of God.
Two bow--shots hence is the great water--tank:--
Give the command, O king; and, with our staffs,
That will we smite, as these the river smote;
And, even as they, will water turn to blood.''

To Moses then, and Aaron, spake the king.

''Ye hear what this man saith. Come with us now,
And see if this same miracle, by power
Of magic may be wrought. So prove it, ye
As but the mightier sorcerers must be held:
Yet rank impostors also; since the act
Of cunning witchcraft only, ye hold forth
As very deed of God; yourselves to avouch
His messengers, the speakers of His words,--
When your own insolence alone ye speak.
So if it prove, a stronger magic still
May fail you, seeking punishment to 'scape.''

Frowning, he ceased; then gave the sign; and all
At once moved onward. By the first great tank
Arrived, on its broad wall of brick they stood,
Marking the deep still water, crystal clear,
By no air ruffled; so that, in its depth,
Each separate brick, and every little stone,
As if in air, shone bright. Before him then
Pharaoh the chief magician called, and thus.

''Even in the faces of these Israelites,
Mascron, prove now thy cunning such as theirs.
Though but one bucketful of water pure
To blood thou turn, yet well might that suffice
To show their power thine also. But, the whole
If thou shouldst change,--supply full large, methinks,
For this vast city, through a moon, or more,--
Slight cause for envy hadst thou; since thy craft
Close upon theirs would press.'' ''No fear have I
Of what shall be the event,''--the sorcerer said,--
Emboldened by his demon; and full power
Feeling, the act to do. Without delay,
Then high his staff uplifted he, and smote:
And the bright water instantly was blood!

A joyous shout, from prince, priests, sorcerers, lords,
Welcomed the marvel: and with mock and laugh,
The Israelites they taunted. ''Not from God
Pretend I to be missioned,'' sneeringly
Cried Mascron then; ''yet, your great magic trick,
Lo, have I also done! Wise men ye are;
But others, too, have wisdom of like sort,--
As ye behold; and, ere your impious lies
Ye tempt us to believe,--far greater thing
Than this must ye perform.'' With lifted hand,
Pharaoh his vaunting checked; and briefly thus,
To Moses turning, spake. ''What say'st thou now,
Proud sorcerer? If your miracle, from God
Attest you for his messengers,--wherefore not
Also from God, he who the like hath wrought?....
Yet not as you he counselleth,--to set free
Our rightful slaves; but evermore to keep;
Yea, on them heavier burthens still to lay,
And sharper stripes inflict. Why, then, to him
Should we not hearken, rather than to you;
Since the like witness of divine command
Bring both; and his the counsel pleasanter,
And profitable more? How answerest thou:
And how from falsehood may ye purge yourselves,
So punishment to escape?'' To him, with mien
August, and voice of high authority,
Moses thus made reply. ''No punishment
Fear we; for alway in the might of God
Our trust is: and His bidding we obey,
Unquestioning the event. If 'gainst deceit
Thy wrath is,--elsewhere turn it; for, with us,
Deceit is none. As, from his rod, this man
A serpent brought,--so, by that same dark power,
To blood hath he changed water; for no spell
Of sorcery so could work. That we, by art
Of magic, your great river turned to blood,
Boldly he saith: and that, by self--same art,
This water into blood hath he now turned:
Let him then show the rule by which he wrought.
For us,--the infant that this day was born,
Hath knowledge deep as we, of any cause
Occult, through which that miracle was done,
Save by the will of God. That so 'twould be,
Plainly I told thee,--even His very words,
As to me spoken, speaking unto thee.
Through me, His messenger, did Israel's God
Again require of thee to let us go,
That we might worship in the wilderness,--
For thitherto thou wouldst not; and this plague,
On disobedience threatened. Plain the words;
'Lo! with this staff which is within mine hand,
The waters of the river will I smite,
That they shall turn to blood: the fish shall die
The river stink; and the Egyptians loathe
To drink the water.' Such the words I spake,
Even as I AM had spoken. That the rod,
Smiting the stream, such wonder would perform,
From His word only knew we. His sole will
As cause we know. So know it thou, O king,
And his command obey,--then grievous ills,
Which else shall scourge you all, ye may escape.
For the great word is spoken: from this land
Shall Israel be brought out: or soon, or late,
As yet we know not. For this present time,
A three days' journey in the wilderness,
That we may sacrifice unto our God,
Is all of thee demanded. Yield thou that;
Then may obedience in the greater thing
Be easier; and heaven's judgments ye may 'scape.''

''I will yield nought, bold sorcerer,'' cried the king,
Two steps advancing, with his arm uplift,
As if to strike: ''thy God I do defy!
Thy magic I will stay; or prove the force
Of chain and dungeon on thee. Get thee hence;
Both of you hence: and let me see no more
Your rebel faces. In few hours, your spells,
Like to spent tempests, of themselves will cease;
And blood again be water,--even as this:
For, look! already hath the change begun:
Water and blood are here, where, ten breaths since,
Was nought but blood....See! even while we gaze,
The wonder grows! the foul becomes the pure!
The blood--mist vanishes,--the sun comes out!....
And, now,--lo! all is pure! So speedily
Shall pass your witchcraft also. Nay, perchance,
Already hath passed. Run quickly, some of you,
And look upon the river; and bring back
Report of that ye see. And, as I live,
Ye insolent! if also there hath died
The spell which, with blaspheming tongue, ye called
The very hand of God,--this earth no more
Shall ye pollute; but on the instant die!''

Foaming with rage, he ceased; and to and fro
Strode muttering: but, his anger heeding not,
With firm, calm voice thus Moses answered him.

''Not in thy hand, O Pharaoh, are our lives;--
For still the work of God have we to do.
This water,--by the Power of Evil changed
To blood, or semblance thereof,--soon again
To its original nature hath returned:
But that which by the will of God was changed,
Not till again He willeth, can return
To that it was before. Thy messengers
Will tell thee that the river yet is blood:
And now, O king,--I tell thee, that once more
This water will be blood; yea, all the streams,
The rivers, and the ponds, fountains and pools;
And water in all vessels, wood, or stone,
From which the people of this Egypt drink;--
All will be changed to blood! So shalt thou know
That Israel's God, on earth, and in the heavens,
Sole Lord and Ruler is. But yet, alas!
This wilt thou not believe! Thy heart is hard,
Proud and rebellious; and again the hand
Of God must fall upon thee.'' With stern tone
Of warning prophet having ended thus,
He tarried not; but,--unto king and lords
The customed reverence making,--with calm step,
By Aaron followed, forthwith went his way.

Stiff with astonishment the king looked on,
Nor to restrain them, spake; by those dread words,
That voice and air portentous, overawed.
Mute also stood the sorcerers, priests, and lords,--
Awe--struck and troubled, when the king they saw,
As by a might superior stricken down,
And powerless to resist. But, in brief time,
Panting with haste, the messengers returned,
And said, ''O king! the river yet is blood:
And thereon, numberless as autumn leaves,
The dead fish float!'' In silence and dismay
Awhile stood all: but, demon--stirred, at length,
With wrath and pride Pharaoh again was filled.
''They shall not go,'' he cried, ''though the whole land
Be soaked with blood. If, ere the sun go down,
The magic cease not: and, if other streams,
Fountains, and waters, as he threatened, change,--
Send ye command that, throughout all the land,
The people dig for water: but, in chief,
Upon those pestilent Israelites be the toil:
Till they pure water bring from out the ground,
Let the whips cease not; so their cries shall mount
And their magicians tell, that on themselves,
More than on those of Egypt, falls their plague.....
But, haply, though blood seeming to the eye,
Unto the taste, still water all may be:
If so, the mischief less. Stoop, some of you,
And of this water drink; which real blood,
Even as the river, seemed; and then again
Water became. If to the palate sweet,
As though no change had been,--conclusion strong
Justly may follow, that to sight alone
The transformation was; and that small ill
The plague will bring upon us.'' While he spake,
Hastily kneeled the younger of the lords;
And also of the younger priests kneeled some;
And he who first into the brimming tank
Dipped hand, and therefrom tasted, cried aloud,
''Sweet is the water as from hill--side spring!
Cup--bearer,--hither bring the royal cup,
That Pharaoh, too, may taste it.'' To his hand
The crystal cup was given. He plunged it in;
Hurriedly laved, and filled it; then arose,
And with glad look the liquid diamond bore,
And to the king presented. A bright smile
Illumed the monarch's face, as in his hand
He took the cup, and held it to the light,
Its brilliance marking. 'Neath the nostril then
He placed it, and still smiled: once more upheld,
And gazed upon its sparkles; toward his mouth
Then drew it; and, with opening lips, prepared
To quaff the grateful drink. But, suddenly,
As by a serpent stung, he started back;
Shuddered, and shrieked; and, as it fire had been,
Flung from his hand the cup; for lo! 'twas red,
And thick as life--stream of the sacrifice!

From those who o'er the water bent, not less,
A great shriek rose; for, while, with hollowed palms,
They dipped, and drank,--joyously calling out,
That even as brightest desert spring 'twas sweet,--
Behold! in one same instant, all was blood!

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