Here you will find the Long Poem Moses: A Story Of The Nile (extract) of poet Frances Ellen Watkins
Moses sought again the presence of the king: And Pharaoh's brow grew dark with wrath, And rising up in angry haste, he said Defiantly, 'If thy God be great, show Us some sign or token of his power.' Then Moses threw his rod upon the floor, And it trembled with a sign of life; The dark wood glowed, then changed into a thing Of glistening scales and golden rings, and green And brown and purple stripes; a hissing, hateful Thing, that glared its fiery eye, and darting forth From Moses' side, lay coiled and panting At the monarch's feet. With wonder open-eyed The king gazed on the changed rod, then called For his magicians ? wily men, well versed In sinful lore ? and bade them do the same. And they, leagued with the powers of night, did Also change their rods to serpents; then Moses' Serpent darted forth, and with a startling hiss And angry gulp, he swallowed the living things That coiled along his path. And thus did Moses Show that Israel's God had greater power Than those dark sons of night. But not by this alone Did God his mighty power reveal: He changed Their waters; every fountain, well and pool Was red with blood, and lips, all parched with thirst, Shrank back in horror from the crimson draughts. And then the worshiped Nile grew full of life: Millions of frogs swarmed from the stream ? they clogged The pathway of the priests and filled the sacred Fanes, and crowded into Pharaoh's bed, and hopped Into his trays of bread, and slumbered in his Ovens and his pans. There came another plague, of loathsome vermin; They were gray and creeping things, that made Their very clothes alive with dark and sombre Spots ? things of loathsome in the land, they did Suspend the service of the temple; for no priest Dared to lift his hand to any god with one Of those upon him. And then the sky grew Dark, as if a cloud were passing o'er its Changeless blue; a buzzing sound broke o'er The city, and the land was swarmed with flies. The Murrain laid their cattle low; the hail Cut off the first fruits of the Nile; the locusts With their hungry jaws, destroyed the later crops, And left the ground as brown and bare as if a fire Had scorched it through. Then angry blains And fiery boils did blur the flesh of man And beast; and then for three long days, nor saffron Tint, nor crimson flush, nor soft and silvery light Divided day from morn, nor told the passage Of the hours; men rose not from their seats, but sat In silent awe. That lengthened night lay like a burden On the air, ? a darkness one might almost gather In his hand, it was so gross and thick. Then came The last dread plague ? the death of the first born.