ETEXT editor’s bookmarks:
of national covenants
Choose between too great or too small a recompense
Regard the utterances and mandates of age as wisdom
There is no ‘never,’ no surely
Voice of the senses, which drew them together, will soon be mute
By Georg Ebers
For a long time nothing was heard beneath the sycamore save Miriam’s low moans and the impatient footsteps of the warrior who, while struggling for composure, did not venture to disturb her.
He could not yet understand what had suddenly towered like a mountain between him and the object of his love.
He had learned from Hur’s words that his father and Moses rejected all mediation, yet the promises he was bearing to the people seemed to him a merciful gift from the Most High. None of his race yet knew it and, if Moses was the man whom he believed him to be, the Lord must open his eyes and show him that he had chosen him, Hosea, to lead the people through his mediation to a fairer future; nor did he doubt that He could easily win his father over to his side. He would even have declared a second time, with the firmest faith, that it was the Most High who had pointed out his path, and after reflecting upon all this he approached Miriam, who had at last risen, with fresh confidence. His loving heart prompted him to clasp her in his arms, but she thrust him back and her voice, usually so pure and clear, sounded harsh and muffled as she asked why he had lingered so long and what he intended to confide to her.
While cowering under the sycamore, she had not only struggled and prayed for composure, but also gazed into her own soul. She loved Hosea, but she suspected that he came with proposals similar to those of Uri, and the wrathful words of hoary Nun rang in her ears more loudly than ever. The fear that the man she loved was walking in mistaken paths, and the startling act of Hur had made the towering waves of her passion subside and her mind, now capable of calmer reflection, desired first of all to know what had so long detained him whom she had summoned in the name of her God, and why he came alone, without Ephraim.
The clear sky was full of stars, and these heavenly bodies, which seem to have been appointed to look down upon the bliss of united human lovers, now witnessed the anxious questions of a tortured girl and the impatient answers of a fiery, bitterly disappointed man.
He began with the assurance of his love and that he had come to make her his wife; but, though she permitted him to hold her hand in his clasp, she entreated him to cease pleading his suit and first tell her what she desired to know.