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The New Zealand Evangelist

Poetry — Passing Under The Rod.


Passing Under The Rod.

[The following lines, from Mrs. M. S. B. Dana, are founded on the following passage of Jewish history:—“It was the custom of the Jews to select the tenth of their sheep in this manner—The lambs were separated from their dams and enclosed in a sheepcot, with only one narrow way out; the lambs hastened to join their dams, and a man placed at the entrance, with a rod dipped in ochre, touched every tenth lamb, and so marked it with his rod, saying, ‘let this be holy.’ Hence, says God by His prophet, ‘I will cause you to pass under the rod.'“]

I saw the young bride, in her beauty and pride,
Bedecked in her snowy array,
And the bright flash of joy mantled high on her cheek,
And the future looked brilliant and gay,
And, with woman's devotion, she laid her fond heart,
At the shrine of idolatrous love;
And she anchored her hopes to the perishing earth,
By the chain which her tenderness wove.
page 52 But I saw when those heart-strings were bleeding and torn,
And the chain had been severed in two;
She had changed her white robes for the sables of grief,
And her bloom for the paleness of woe.
But the Healer was there, pouring balm on the heart,
And wiping the tears from her eyes;
And He strengthened the chain, He had broken in twain,
And fastened it firm to the skies.
There had whispered a voice—'twas the voice of her God
“I love thee, I love thee,—pass under the rod.”

I saw the young mother in tenderness bend
O'er the coach of her slumbering boy,
And she kissed the soft lips as they murmured her name,
While the dreamer lay smiling in joy.
Oh! sweet as the rosebud, encircled with dew,
When its fragrance is flung on the air,
So fresh and so bright to the mother he seemed,
As he lay in his innocence there!
But I saw when she gazed on the same lovely form,
Pale as marble, and silent and cold;
But paler, and colder her beautiful boy—
And the tale of her sorrow was told.
But the Healer was there who had smitten her heart,
And taken her treasure away,
To allure her to heaven He has placed it on high,
And the mourner will sweetly obey.
There had whispered a voice—twas the voice of her God
“I love thee, I love thee,—pass under the rod.”

I saw when a father and mother had lean'd
On the arms of a dear cherished son,
page 53 And the star in the future grew bright in their gaze,
As they saw the proud place he had won.
And the fast coming evening of life promised fair,
And its pathway grew smooth to their feet,
And the starlight of love glimmer'd bright at the end,
And the whispers of Fancy were sweet.
But I saw when they stood bending low o'er the grave
Where their heart's dearest hope had been laid,
And the star had gone down in the darkness of night,
And joy from their bosom had fled.
But the Healer was there, and his arms were around,
And He led them with tenderest care;
And he showed them a star in the bright upper world,
'Twas their star shining brilliantly there!
They had each heard a voice—'Twas the voice of Their God
“I love thee, I love thee,—pass under the rod.”