Charles Harpur

Here you will find the Poem Joshua of poet Charles Harpur


When Joshua in the days of old 
 Stood forth upon old Jordan?s bank, 
 And past the flood that backward rolled 
 His host came dryshod, rank on rank; 
 The warrior angel of the Lord, 
 A glorious shining creature, bared 
 Before him there a flaming sword, 
 And thus the mind of God declared? 
 ?Lo, I am with you! Here shall dwell 
My chosen people; here I plant thee, Israel!? 
 The walls of Jericho are strong, 
 And ribbed throughout with many a tower, 
 And yet her monarch?s armed throng 
 Stand trembling round his throne of power; 
 For circling still those walls about, 
 Behold the Ark of God is borne! 
 Blow, trumphets, blow! Shout, Israel, shout! 
 ?Tis done, and from the earth uptorn 
 At once they scatter and disform 
Like the grey, cloud-built bastions of a bursting storm. 

 Five kings at Gibeon are met, 
 Five mighty kings of ancient name, 
 And they are boasting they will set 
 A blood-red bound to Joshua?s fame. 
 But the sun stands fast on Gibeon?s hill, 
 And the moon is fixed o?er Ajalon, 
 That Israel?s host in vengeance still 
 Floodlike may spread God?s victory on! 
 And where are now those kings? Yon cave 
Hides them in vain, or hides them only as their grave. 

 Thus Israel, in the days of old 
 Led by that prophet of the Lord, 
 Like a devouring tempest rolled 
 Destructive o?er each race abhorred; 
 And all their war, how little worth 
 To work ?gainst that prevailing sword 
 In Israel?s front far flaming forth, 
 For what are numbers to the Lord? 
 That multitudinous array 
Broke, melting as it rolled like morning mist away