LONDON, Printed: And Sold by Mr. CONDELL, in Cross-Court, Bow-Street, Covent-Garden. MDCCLXXIV. [Price One Shilling.]

Dramatis Personae.

  • PHARAOH King of Egypt.
  • SEPHRES his Son.
  • MENYTIS Sister to Pharaoh.
  • Officers of the Court, Chorus of Egyptians, &c.
  • MOSES.
  • First and Second Israelite.
  • Chorus of Israelites.




The Land of Goshen; an Israelitish Man and Woman.
Again the Tyrant, cruel and perfidious,
Retracts his Promise, and defies th' Almighty;
In vain successive Wonders plead our Wrongs,
And desolated Egypt groans in vain.
Yes, Pharaoh's ruthless Hand, that has so long
Bow'd Israel's Neck to stern Oppression's Yoke,
Now wastes, with various Plagues, his own Domains,
And spreads o'er Egypt, Want, Disease, and Death.
AIR, by the Man and Woman alternately.
The gliding Stream, whose silver Wave
To thirsty Lips Refreshment gave,
The thirsty Lip refresh'd no more,
But stain'd with Blood its wond'ring Shore.
[Page 4]Flocks, Herds, and Fields, and Men complain,
All Nature mourns, but mourns in vain.
The faithful Steer untimely died;
The Morn her genial Dews denied;
And Wrath ordain'd the Skies to pour,
Of Flame and Frost a mingled Show'r:
Flocks, Herds, and Fields, and Men complain,
All Nature mourns, but mourns in vain.
The Hind looks round with boding Fears,
The rising Corn his Anguish cheers;
The Locust comes, his Hopes are fled,
And unavailing Tears are shed.
Flocks, Herds, and Fields, and Men complain,
All Nature mourns, but mourns in vain.
These Plagues are past, and now, tremendous Sight!
Where late the golden Spires of haughty Memphis
With dazzling Brightness sparkled to the Eye,
Darkness alone is visible; there seems
A Wall of Darkness rais'd from Earth to Heav'n!—
It looks like Nature's Limits, and beyond
Th' affrighted Fancy, feigns the waste Dominions
Of Chaos and of Night.
Now let us fly;
What now forbids, that, careless of his Will
Whom Darkness binds, and Hunger must destroy,
We quit for ever this detested Land,
And seek the promis'd Heritage of Heav'n?
[Page 5]
What can forbid! and lo! in happy Hour
The hoary Elders of our Tribes approach.
AIR by the Man.
Freedom's Charms alike engage,
Blooming Youth, and hoary Age;
Time itself can ne'er destroy
Freedom's pure and lasting Joy:
Love and Friendship never gave
Half their Blessings to the Slave;
None are happy but the Free,
Bliss is born of Liberty.
Enter the Elders of Israel.
O! Fathers! wherefore should these golden Hours
Serve but like common Time to measure Life?
Why not improved to bless that Life with Freedom?
1st Elder.
Taught from above the Prophet is our Guide;
Him let us follow, patient and resign'd:
So shall the Simple, and the Weak, be found
Strong in his Strength, and in his Wisdom wise.
2d Elder.
Behold he comes: with Joy and Rev'rence greet
The Friend of Israel, and the Sent of Heav'n.
Hail! belov'd of Man and God!
Born to sway the mystic Rod!
Born proud Tyrants to abase,
Still befriend thy kindred Race!
[Page 6]Glorious, where thy Life began,
Hail! belov'd of God and Man!
Cease, or the Strains from Gratitude that flow
Direct to Heav'n, and give JEHOVAH Praise.
1st Elder.
For thee we praise him; in his chosen Hour,
And sure that Hour is come, we follow thee;
Wilt thou not lead us forth while now the Tyrant,
Involv'd in Darkness, knows not what we do?
Not yet; this Hour the dreadful Glooms disperse,
And Light returns to Pharaoh.
Ah! not so—
Revenge will then make Tyranny more dreadful;
Waste not the Lives one Day's Delay may cost,
Nor add one Day to Bondage worse than Death!
Though Time has crown'd thy hoary Brow with Wisdom,
Still let thy Pity feel for Youth and Beauty!
In blooming Youth the gentle Maid,
For tender Joys and Cares design'd,
Is doom'd by rudest Toils to fade,
By Summers Suns, and Winters Wind:
Those Eyes in silent Tears are drown'd,
Where Love shou'd light his constant Flame,
And pale the languid Cheek is [...]ound,
Which Pleasure's rosy Hue shou'd claim.
Think of our Youth who waste their early Strength
In sordid Labours, and scarce reach to Manhood:
Think of the Babe whose Tears in vain require
The Hand that, driv'n to other Toils, fulfils
A Mother's Duty with Delight no more:
1st Elder.
Think of the hoary Heads that bow beneath
Opprobrious Burdens; think of wasted Egypt,
Her suff'ring Children, cruel by Compulsion,
Like us the Victims of a Tyrant's Crimes.

What mean your Words? what would ye that I do?

2d Elder.

Prolong this Darkness till our Tribes escape.

Forbear—Alas! ye know not what ye ask!
The stubborn Will of Egypt's haughty Prince
Must stand subdu'd, and his own Word dismiss ye:
This Land of Bondage shall ye quit with Glory,
And pass in Triumph by the Gates of Memphis.
I go to prove him; trust in Heav'n, and live.
We hear thee, and with Transport trust,
Thy Rod shall make the Tyrant just,
And all our Wrongs atone;
Where'er the circling Sun displays
His rising or his setting Rays,
Our Triumph shall be known.


The Palace at Memphis, during the Darkness.
Pharaoh, Sephres, and Attendants.

If there be any near me let him speak;


May Pharaoh live for ever!

O, my Son!
Ill suits such greeting with this dreadful Gloom;
This Gloom, impervious to the Noon-tide Beam,
If the blest Sun still rises on the World—
Speak yet again, that I may hear thy Voice,
And Darkness may be Solitude no more.
I speak, but yet my Voice almost affrights me,
Three Times the circling Hours have brought the Morn
To other Realms, if other Realms there are
Which yet the Morn revisits, since these Eyes
Were blest with chearful Light; nor yet has Sound
Divided once the long, deep, death-like Silence.
AIR, by Pharaoh.
O Darkness! dreaded not in vain,
My Soul admits thy awful Train;
With me thy kindred Terrors dwell,
And Joy, and Peace, and Hope expel.
AIR, by Sephres.
O chearing Light! of Life and Joy
Fair Emblem! wilt thou ne'er return!
No more thy golden Shafts employ!
No more with genial Radiance burn!
This Darkness is to Death.—Great Nature dics,
And we but perish with her—Hark!
A Symphony, a confused Expression of Joy, as of Shouts at a Distance.
It seem'd a distant Shout—behold the Cause!
Transporting Sight! a dim, but bright'ning Ray
Shoots Eastward hence, and struggles through the Gloom.

It does! increasing and prevailing still!

A wild tumultuous Joy throbs at my Heart,
From Terror scarce distinguish'd; still I tremble.
I am again myself, and scorn the Fears,
The vain fantastic Fears, that Darkness breeds;
Let the loud Trumpets sound, that if the Sun
Still combats with a Foe not yet subdu'd,
The Sound may lend him Aid, and let your Song
Conjure the Pow'rs of Darkness from the Sky.
Hence! ye Pow'rs of Death and Night!
Hence! the Living claim the Light!
By your dreary Realm that lies
Stretch'd beneath infernal Skies,
By the Ghosts that own your Sway,
Ghosts that hate the chearful Day,
Hence! ye Pow'rs of Death and Night!
Hence! the Living claim the Light.
[Page 10] Enter Moses.
Enter not here, thou Enemy of Man.
Here I must enter, for again commission'd
By him whose Hand has been so ost upon thee,
I come to claim an injur'd Nation's Freedom.
Darest thou again, with that ill-omen'd Voice,
Urge thy Demand, and tempt again my Mercy!
What shou'd I fear from thee! I trust in God.
Sever these Limbs in Fragments small as Dust,
And give them scatter'd to the Winds of Heav'n,
If he commands, united in a Moment,
Again, as now, they shall appear before thee,
To work his Pleasure, and denounce his Vengeance.
Enter Menytis.
O Friend! O Brother! wherefore are ye thus?
Change these fierce Looks of Anger and Defiance
For such as heretofore ye took and gave—
Remember, Pharaoh, he who stands before thee
Our Father's Sister cherish'd as her child;
Remember, Moses, what thou wast to Pharaoh,
His Friend, the favour'd Brother of his Choice—
[Page 11]AIR, by Menytis.
Friendship is the Joy of Reason,
Dearer yet than that of Love;
Love but lasts a transient Season,
Friendship makes the Bliss above:
Who would lose the sacred Pleasure
Felt when Soul with Soul unites!
Other Blessings have their Measure,
Friendship without Bound delights.
In vain you urge me, outrag'd and defy'd—
Henceforth the Wretch shall see my Face no more.
Well hast thou said; this Object of thy Scorn
Henceforth indeed shall see thy Face no more.
Pharaoh and Moses.

Fly, and see my Face no more;


I will see thy Face no more:


Dread my Rage,

Thy Rage I scorn,
Dread thyself the rising Morn:

Vain thy Menace—hence! away—


Tyrant, I disdain to stay.

Hence! and try thy Arts again,
Vain the past, the future vain;
Pharaoh shall thy Pow'r defy,
And with Glory live, or die.



Goshen; the Time, Evening.
First and Second Israelite, and Chorus.
1st Israelite.
When shall our Labours and our Wrongs be past!
The Rising Sun beholds our Toils commenc'd,
The Setting comes, and sees them still unfinish'd.
2d Israelite.
O! that untroubled by deccitful Hopes
Content still sweeten'd Toil, and welcome Rest
Still crown'd our Evening when the Day was past!
Enter Moses.
Cease to repine, nor with ungrateful murmurs
Accuse the wise Benevolence of Heav'n.
1st Israelite.
'Tis not in Mortals to endure the Pains
That Rage now adds to Bondage, and be silent.
At early Dawn the lab'ring Hind
With rustic Song his Toil beguiles,
Who hopes at dusky Eve to find
In homely Cot domestic Smiles.
But he whose sad Reward is Pain,
Whom Sorrow meets at his Return,
Can ne'er the Load of Life sustain,
To hide his Anguish ne'er can learn.
Mark me; by me your Strength JEHOVAH speaks,
E'er yet To-morrow's Dawn shall tinge the Skies,
The Sons of Israel shall depart from Egypt.
2d Israelite.
If this were certain, all our Toils and Pains
Would in a Moment be, like Dreams, forgotten.
That this is certain, let the Signs attest,
Which he who speaks by me, by me has wrought.
By Doubts and Fears no more deprest,
To Hope we give the joyful Breast,
To Hope and all her smiling Train;
Great Nature's Lord, our Guard and Guide,
Our Hearts in Nature's Lord confide,
And Egypt's haughty Pow'r disdain.


The outward Court of the Palace at Memphis: the Time, two Hours after Midnight.
An Officer of the Guard. To him another Officer of the Palace.
2d Officer.
Thy Looks are wild, and Terror's in thy Eye:
What of this dreadful Night upon thy Watch
Has Rumour brought thee?
1st Officer.
Nothing have I learnt;
What my own Thoughts suggest I fear to tell thee.
2d Officer.
[Page 14]

What hast thou heard or seen while others slept?

1st Officer.
As here I kept my Watch, some two Hours since,
At Depth of Midnight, when the World around
Was hush'd in awful Silence, next to Death,
A sudden Blast, impetuous from the South,
Shook the proud Palace to its Base, and soon
A gen'ral Groan on all Sides coho'd round me;
Loud Shrieks of Terror, and the languid Moans
Of Grief succeded; ever and anon
A ghastly Face rush'd by me, full of Haste,
And Terror and Distraction: Oft I ask'd
What had befall'n 'em, but gain'd no Reply,
Save broken Words and frantic Exclamations.
2d Officer.
Where will Destruction stop! the eldest Hope
Of ev'ry House, as far as yet we learn,
This Night expir'd; and Egypt's proudest Boast,
Heir to her Empire, now lies cold in Death.
Death where'er we turn we meet,
Death has broke through Nature's Bounds,
Death the sighing gales repeat,
Death from ev'ry Echo sounds.
1st Officer.
See where the Sister of our King approaches,
With all the weeping Virgins of her Train!
2d Officer.
[Page 15]
They hoped to grace the Nuptials of the Prince:
A softer Band had bound him, had not Heav'n
Giv'n up our Land to Darkness and to Death.
Enter Menytis, and a Chorus of Egyptian Virgins.
AIR by Menytis.
Alas! in blooming Youth he died,
E'er hallow'd Love his Virtue blest;
When conscious Blushes warm'd the Bride,
And tender Tumults fill'd her Breast:
Ye Virgins now no Myrtles twine,
No Roses for his Bed prepare;
In Silence o'er his Grave incline,
And strew the sading fragrance there.
No more our Hands shall Myrtles twine,
Nor Roses for his Bed prepare;
Our Heads shall o'er his Grave incline,
And fading sweets be scatter'd there.
O! that my Tears had yet in Time prevail'd,
And Israel's Tribes had been dismiss'd from Egypt!
1st Virgin.
What unknown Woes may Pharaoh yet incur,
If yet he grants not the Demand of Moses!
Your Fears, if yet there can be ought to fear,
Are vain, for all that Israel asks is giv'n:
Now on their March they leave this wasted Land,
[Page 16]And shake the Dust of Egypt from their Feet;
So will'd the King, who, deaf to Comfort's Voice,
On the bare Earth lies stretch'd in silent Sorrow.
AIR, by Menytis.
How vain is Grandeur's purple Pride!
And Guards and Roofs of Gold how vain!
Through circling Guards can Sorrow glide!
And golden Roofs are claim'd by Pain.
Give me, ye Pow'rs, unknown to dwell,
Remote from Pomp, and Care, and Strife,
Secure from Passions that rebel,
And shelter'd from the Storms of Life.
1st Officer.

But see the King—Contending Passions shake him.

Enter Pharaoh.
Accursed Sorcerer!—But in vain I curse him;
I am myself the Murderer of my Child!—
Why did I fear to take a forfeit Life!
A Life twice forfeit!—He was once an Outcast
Of a vile Slave, preserv'd with erring Pity!
And once a Murderer, flying unpursu'd.
My Thoughts are wilder than a Whirlwind's Rage—
Yes, I will follow him to Nature's Verge,
And wou'd to bottomless Perdition's Gulph
Leap after him.—

My gracious Lord!


No more.—

Menytis and Pharaoh.

O! let my Voice Attention gain!


Thy Suit the World should urge in vain:


Let then my Tears thy Pity move!


Thy Tears, tho' Blood, would fruitless prove.


O! for thy Life—




O! stay—


My Life I scorn—


For mine!—



[Exit Pharaoh, the rest following.


The Borders of the Red Sea.
Moses and the Israelites on their March.
1st Israelite.
The Joy of sudden Freedom is too great;
Th' expanding Heart is pain'd to give it Room.
2d Israelite.
My Spirits all mount upward, and I feel
As I could tread on Air; even Nature's Wants
Almost I could forget, and Toil, and Hunger,
Lose their Effects upon me as I march.
Less are youthful Charms to Love,
Less is Danger to the Brave,
Less to Misers Gold must prove,
Less than Freedom to the Slave.
This is sacred Truth's Decree,
Truth, the Friend of human Race;
Death is Honour to the Free,
Life is to the Slave Disgrace.
Enter Messenger.
Cease the loud Triumph of your joyful Strains:
Egypt's stern Tyrant, dreadful and resistless,
As the blue Pestilence that rides the Wind,
Enrag'd pursues us with prevailing Speed;
The rapid Chariot plows the smoking Ground,
And the proud Courser scorns our tardy flight.
O! Words of Horror! dreadful Sound!
A thousand Deaths beset us round!
Our Hope is vain, and vain our Pray'r,
'Tis Anguish all! 'tis all Despair.
Enter Moses.
So soon, ye Faithless! can ye sear so soon!
Turn not your Eye to yonder idle Pomp
Of mortal Foes, the Children of the Dust;
But look before ye, where the cloudy Pillar,
That marks your destin'd Way to Peace and Safety,
Veils the dread Pow'r who from himself began,
And fills Eternity! before whose Eye
All Nature stands rebuk'd.
1st Israelite.
[Page 19]
Forgive th' involuntary Fears that rise
From Dangers such as these, so great, so sudden;
Behind us drives the Foe, whose Iron Hand
Our suffering Tribes have felt, and mourn'd so long;
Before us, with inexorable Wave,
The Sea, far sounding, beats the sullen Shore.
Let me, while thus I lift my Hand to Heav'n,
Teach ye, once more, to trust eternal Truth.
[As he lifts up his Rod, the Sea is supposed to be suddenly divided.
A Symphony expressing the Commotion of the Waters.
It parts! it parts! the liquid Walls behold,
Of Wave on Wave in foaming volumes roll'd!
In Terror fix'd, the Sea forgets to flow,
And leaves unveil'd the hoary Gulph below;
In Safety pass, ye chosen Tribes, along,
And let the parted Deep resound your Song.



The Red Sea; the Israelites passing on before the Egyptians.
First and Second Israelite.
1st Israelite.
Still I rejoice with trembling; when I gaze
On this stupendous Precipice above,
And pass this yet untrodden Gulph below,
My Heart dies in me, and my Fears prevail.
2d Israelite.
Fear not; the Hand that guides us, will protect,
Till we have pass'd in Safety to the Shore:
In Times to come, when we shall rest in Peace,
Beneath the Shade of our own Vine and Fig-tree,
Rememb'rance of our Dangers past will raise
Repose to Pleasure, Pleasure to Delight.
How blest is he whose tranquil Mind,
When Life declines, recalls again
The Years that Time has cast behind,
And wins Delight from Toil and Pain!
So, when the transient Storm is past,
The sudden Gloom, and driving Show'r,
The sweetest Sunshine is the last,
The lov'liest, is the Evening Hour.
1st Israelite.

But see our Foes pursue us—

2d Israelite.
Far behind
Discomfited they linger, and from hence
Not ev'n their glitt'ring Armour is descry'd.
1st Israelite.
Their Arms we see not, for the guiding Cloud
That led our Van now guards us in the Rear.
The Way grows sleep; ascending from th' Abyss
Behold the Thousands that pass on before us;
A moving Column, rising Rank o'er Rank,
Swarm on th' Ascent, and quicken all the Way!
'Tis done! the wond'rous Journey's o'er!
They quit the deep! they gain the Shore!
They view with Joy the Path they trod,
And hark! their Shout ascends to God!


The Borders of the Red Sea in the Desart.
The Israelites as just landed on the Coast.
1st Israelite.
Still stands the Deep divided, still our Foes,
For now I see their glitt'ring Arms advance.—
2d Israelite.

Stand back!—behold the Prophet!—give him Way—

[Page 22] Enter Moses.
Fear not the Hosts that now enrag'd pursue;
Though now ye see them, ye shall see no more.
Ye Waters, who at his Command, whose Voice
First call'd ye forth from Nothing, left disclos'd
The World's Foundations, now again return,
And at his Bidding in your Channel flow.
Again the Voice of GOD is heard,
Again the rushing Waters meet;
The Waters, that beheld and scar'd,
Now pay their Homage at his Feet!
Behold where boasting Egypt lies o'erwhelm'd!
O'er rattling Chariots and the shouting Host,
Flows the calm Wave now silent and at rest:
Thus o'er the Race of Man, and all his Works,
The Stream of Time, divided for a Moment,
Shall close for ever; but supreme o'er all
GOD still remains, eternal and unchang'd!—
To him with humble Adoration bend,
And, while ye triumph o'er the Sons of Egypt,
Let Pity still remember they were Men.
O God of Hosts! to Thee we raise
With humble Hearts our Songs of Praise;
[Page 23]A weak, alas! and guilty Race,
Our Merit claims no partial Grace;
No partial Grace thy Judgments show,
The Father thou of all below!
And Life, and Death, alike proclaim
To Man, the Glorics of thy Name.
But see the Deep returns the lifeless Corse,
And spreads the Shore with Trophies of the Dead:
These were our Foes:—but Enmity and Life
Shou'd cease together:—in the silent Grave
All is unbroken Peace; th' Oppressor there
From troubling ceases, and the Weary rest.
1st Israelite.
Far, far from us be unrelenting Rage,
Revenge, and all the Furies of the Mind!
If God, long suff'ring, shall chastise our Foes,
Let us, thus warn'd, rejoice with Fear before him;
In just Displeasure if our Crimes are punish'd,
Not vainly chasten'd, let us kiss the Rod.—
To these, whate'er from Pity they can take,
Let Pity give, for Man is born to Woe.
With gen'rous Tears the Dead deplore,
They wake to Love, or War, no more,
No longer now destroy or save;
The Dead, alas! no more are Foes;
With pious Hands their Limbs compose
And give, what all must want, a Grave.
To God this Sacrifice of Love is pleasing,
For God is Love!—stupendous are his Ways!
Ye cannot fathom them—the Depth and Height
Surpass your utmost Reach of Thought, to me
By Parts disclos'd, through Clouds, and dimly seen:
Yet know these Wonders are not for this Age,
Nor you, ye chosen from the Nations, wrought;
These are but Types, the Substance is to come:—
The Prince of Peace, who though from Jacob sprung,
Was yet ere Abra'ms Day; he from worse Bondage,
Shall, like a Shepherd, lead his chosen Race
To yet a better Canaan, there to quaff
The Streams of Life, and taste immortal Fruit.
Praise to the Lord who reigns supreme above!
Praise to the mystic Wonders of his Love!
Renew the grateful Song of Ages past,
The Song through Heaven's eternal Year shall last.

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