Friday, November 7, 2008

Isaac's Cousin Bride: A Poem

Genesis XXIV
By Arthur Hugh Clough

Who is this man
that walketh in the field,
O Eleazar,
steward to my lord?

And Eleazar
answered her and said,
Daughter of Bethuel,
it is other none
But my lord Isaac,
son unto my lord,
Who, as his wont is,
walketh in the field,
In the hour of evening,
meditating there.

Therefore Rebekah
basted where she sat,
And from her camel’
lighting to the earth,
Sought for a veil
and put it on her face.

But Isaac also,
walking in the field,
Saw from afar
a company that came,
Camels, and a seat
as where a woman sat;
Wherefore he came
and met them on the way.

Whom, when Rebekah
saw, she came before,
Saying, Behold
the handmaid of my lord;
Who, for my lord’s sake,
travel from my land.

But he said, O
thou blessed of our God,
Come, for the tent
is eager for thy face.
Shall not thy husband,
be unto thee more than
Hundreds of kinsmen
living in thy land?

And Eleazar answered,Thus and thus,
Even according
as thy father bade,
Did we; and thus and
thus it came to pass:
Lo! is not this
Rebekah, Bethuel’s child.

And, as he ended,
Isaac spoke and said,
Surely my heart
went with you on the way,
When with the beasts
ye came unto the place.

Truly, O child
of Nahor, I was there,
When to thy mother
and thy mother’s son
Thou madest answer,
saying, I will go.
And Isaac brought her
to his mother’s tent.

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