Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 386 pages of information about Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II..

Then he made answer, “By a messenger
Have I this day been warned.  There is a deed
I may not tell of, lest the people add
Scorn to a Coming Greatness to their faults. 
Why this?  Who careth when about to slay,
And slay indeed, how well they have deserved
Death, whom he slayeth?  Therefore yet is hid
A meaning of some mercy that will rob
The nether world.  Now look to it,—­’Twere vain
Albeit this deluge He would send indeed,
That we expect the harvest; He would yet
Be the Master-reaper; for I heard it said,
Them that be young and know Him not, and them
That are bound and may not build, yea, more, their wives,
Whom, suffering not to hear the doom, they keep
Joyous behind the curtains, every one
With maidens nourished in the house, and babes
And children at her knees,—­(then what remain!)
He claimeth and will gather for His own. 
Now, therefore, it were good by guile to work,
Princes, and suffer not the doom to fall. 
There is no evil like to love.  I heard
Him whisper it.  Have I put on this flesh
To ruin his two children beautiful,
And shall my deed confound me in the end,
Through awful imitation?  Love of God,
I cry against thee; thou art worst of all.”


Now while these evil ones took counsel strange,
The son of Lamech journeyed home; and, lo! 
A company came down, and struck the track
As he did enter it.  There rode in front
Two horsemen, young and noble, and behind
Were following slaves with tent gear; others led
Strong horses, others bare the instruments
O’ the chase, and in the rear dull camels lagged,
Sighing, for they were burdened, and they loved
The desert sands above that grassy vale.

And as they met, those horsemen drew the rein,
And fixed on him their grave untroubled eyes;
He in his regal grandeur walked alone,
And had nor steed nor follower, and his mien
Was grave and like to theirs.  He said to them,
“Fair sirs, whose are ye?” They made answer cold,
“The beautiful woman, sir, our mother dear,
Niloiya, bear us to great Lamech’s son.” 
And he, replying, “I am he.”  They said,
“We know it, sir.  We have remembered you
Through many seasons.  Pray you let us not;
We fain would greet our mother.”  And they made
Obeisance and passed on; then all their train,
Which while they spoke had halted, moved apace,
And, while the silent father stood, went by,
He gazing after, as a man that dreams;
For he was sick with their cold, quiet scorn,
That seemed to say, “Father, we own you not. 
We love you not, for you have left us long,—­
So long, we care not that you come again.”

And while the sullen camels moved, he spake
To him that led the last, “There are but two
Of these my sons; but where doth Japhet ride? 
For I would see him.”  And the leader said,
“Sir, ye shall find him, if ye follow up
Along the track.  Afore the noonday meal
The young men, even our masters, bathed; (there grows
A clump of cedars by the bend of yon
Clear river)—­there did Japhet, after meat,
Being right weary, lay him down and sleep. 
There, with a company of slaves and some
Few camels, ye shall find him.”

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Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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