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And the golden sands of toiling years

Went swiftly slipping by:
The thought of her was music
To cheer his weary feet;
'Twas love that lightened service,
The old, old story sweet.



WHEN Jacob with his Rachel fed

The flock from year to year, To him how sweet the Seasons fled; And so it seem'd to her.

But wretched was the Shepherd's fate,
And sorely was he tried,
When he beheld, in sober state,
That Leah was his Bride.

But Leah, who to Jacob seem'd
A Wife he could not prize,
Had yet the Virtues that redeem'd
The weakness of her Eyes.

But Jacob's love, and Laban's flock,
And Labours for their Sake,
Took all the Terror from the Shock
That Care and Time could take.

It was poor Rachel's harder part
Her love, her Lord to lose,
And in an Instant rob her Heart
Of Life's delicious Views.

She ofttimes up the mountain went,
With bitter thoughts opprest,
And weeping saw the Shepherd's Tent
Her Sister now possessed.

Leah, she knew, would faithful prove, And Jacob would give Truth applause;

And, when he once had vow'd to love, He for his vow would find a Cause.

Thou too art wed to Duty stern,

And to thy Vow wilt prove sincere; And I, like Rachel, doomed to yearn, Victim to Virtues I revere.

But she had Hope the Time would come, And Jacob would for her be free; Mine is an ever-during Doom,

And not a Hope remains for me. GEORGE CRABBE (1754-1832).


(From "Joseph and His Brethren.')

RACHEL, the beautiful (as she was called),

Despised our mother Leah, for that she Was tender-ey'd, lean-favor'd, and did lack

The pulpy ripeness swelling the white


To sleek proportions beautiful and round,

With wrinkled joints so fruitful to the


All this is fair: and yet we know it true That 'neath a pomane breast and snowy


A heart of guile and falsehood may be hid,

As well as where the soil is deeper tinct.

So here with this same Rachel was it found:

The dim blue-lacèd veins on either brow,

Neath the transparent skin meandering, That with the silver-leavèd lily vied; Her full dark eye, whose brightness glisten'd through

The sable lashes soft as camel-hair; Her slanting head curv'd like the maiden


And hung with hair luxuriant as a vine And blacker than a storm; her rounded


Turn'd like a shell upon some golden shore;

Her whispering foot that carried all her weight,

Nor left its little pressure on the sand; Her lips as drowsy poppies, soft and red,

Gathering a dew from her escaping breath;

Her voice melodious, mellow, deep, and dear,

Lingering like sweet music in the ear; Her neck o'ersoften'd like to unsunn'd curd:

Her tapering fingers rounded to a point; The silken softness of her veinèd hand; Her dimpled knuckles answering to her chin;

And teeth like honeycombs o' the wilderness:

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Through trial proved, consoles his perfect age;

Shall this with project and with plan compare?

Is not forever shorter than all time, And love more straightened than from east to west?

Leah spake further, Hath my lord not told

How, in the visions of the night, his God,

The God of Abraham and of Isaac, spake

And said, Increase, and multiply, and fill

With sons to serve Me this thy land and mine;

And I will surely do thee good, and make

Thy seed as is the sand beside the sea, Which is not numbered for its multitude?

Shall Rachel bear this progeny to God?

But Rachel wept and answered, And if God

Hath closed the womb of Rachel until now,

Shall He not at His pleasure open it? Hath Leah read the counsels of the Lord?

Was it not told her, in the ancient days, How Sarah, mother of great Israel's


Lived to long years, insulted of her slave,

Or e'er to light the Child of Promise


Whom Rachel too to Jacob yet may bear?

Moreover, Rachel said, Shall Leah mock,

Who stole the prime embraces of my love,

My first long-destined, long-withheld caress?

But not, she said, methought, but not for this,

In the old days, did Jacob seek his bride;

Where art thou now, O thou that sought'st me then?

Where is thy loving tenderness of old? And where that fervency of faith to which

Seven weary years were even as a few days?

And Rachel wept and ended, Ah, my life!

Though Leah bare thee sons on sons, methought

The child of love, late-born, were worth them all.

And Leah groaned and answered, It is well:

She that hath kept from me my husband's heart

Will set their father's soul against my


Yet, also, not, she said, I thought for this,

Not for the feverish nor the doting love,

Doth Israel, father of a nation, seek; Nor the light dalliance, as of boy and girl,

Incline the thoughts of matron and of


Or lapse the wisdom of maturer mind.

And Leah ended, Father of my sons, Come, thou shalt dream of Rachel if thou wilt,

So Leah fold thee in a wife's embrace.

These are the words of Jacob's wives, who sat

In the tent door, and listened to their speech,

The spring beside him, and above the palm,

While all the sheep were gathered for the night.

ARTHUR HUGH CLOUH (1819-1861).

A BIBLE-STORY FOR MOTHERS. 'TWAS sunset in the land where Eden


Haran, the fertile in the times of old. And now the flocks, from far-off field and hill,

Home followed to the fold at Laban's well;

And, when for them the stone was rolled away,

They drank, and Jacob numbered them. For such

As of its life had well fulfilled a day,

The sunset seemed the giving of it joy

Joy for the hornèd cattle with their calves,

Joy for the goats with kids, the sheep with lambs;

Joy for the birds, that tilted on their nests,

Singing till twilight should enfold their young;

And, from the lowly hut beyond the well,

Rose the sweet laughter of the shepherd's babe;

And Zilpah's son, and Billah's, on the clean

Smooth floor between the household's circling tents

Play'd with the children of the unloved Leah.

But, in the shadow of the tallest palm, There stood a tent, apart. The un

trampled grass

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And the ascending and descending troop That ministered to him who stood


The place none other than the house of God

There, where he poured the oil upon the


As he came East from Canaan. And,

as wont,

In the devoutness of that evening hour, He recognized the COVENANT fulfilled: For he had food, and raiment to put


His cattle and his flocks in peace were there

A God still with him, who increased his store,

And kept him in the way that he should go,

And who the holy promise would fulfill, Dearest to Jacob in that stranger land, To bring him to his father's house once


Thus prayed he, with the setting of the sun.

But, oh! there was another gift from God,

And far more precious, though unnamed with these;

Whose joy had waited not the sunset's glow

To kindle it to prayer, but whose fond fire

Burned a thanksgiving incense all the day

She whom he loved had borne to him a child.

And, to the tent that stood beneath the palm

The tent apart, that was so shut and lone-

The glory of the evening entered now; The silken cord drawn eagerly and far, That the sun's greeting should be all let in

The rosy record of a day fulfilled

Being the mirror of a mother's joyFor, on the floor, rejoicing in its light, Lay the boy babe of RACHEL. She, of all The daughters of the land most fair to


Most loved, and so most needing to bestow

A jewel from her heart on him she loved

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Small though they seem, of an undying brightness.

Jacob's for Rachel was a human love

A heart won by the beauty of a maid Met, with her flocks, beside her father's well.

How beautiful was Laban's daughter there,

'Tis written; and, how tenderly he loved,

Is of his lifetime made the golden thread;

And, of her sorrow that she bare no child,

And of the taking that reproach away, 'Tis lessoned for the world to learn by heart

Sweet as a song “GOD HEARKENED UNTO

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