"Much it behoves us to compute the strength / Of him, whose ruin we would work, of him, / Who vaunts himself the legate of Jehovah, / And by that title keeps our souls in thrall / And bondage worse than what our limbs endur'd / Under the yoke of Pharaoh."
— Burges, Sir James Bland (1752-1824)
Whose counsels all revere, must you be told
Unless our plans by forethought are matur'd,
Vigour is lost and expectation mockt?
It is the eye that gives the javelin aim,
Without whose mark it does but beat the air;
So will it be with us, if in our course
Discretion does not go before and guide.
But what can your experience learn of me,
Who am no son of Levi, nor of kin,
As you, to Moses, who beneath the show
Of meek demeanour bears that proud control,
And boasts that high legation, which to shake,
If such be Korah's purpose, well he knows
Success was never gain'd by vain complaints,
Or empty menaces, that harm not him,
'Gainst whom they're vented, and betray themselves?
But you are calm--and well it is, for now
Much it behoves us to compute the strength
Of him, whose ruin we would work, of him,
Who vaunts himself the legate of Jehovah,
And by that title keeps our souls in thrall
And bondage worse than what our limbs endur'd
Under the yoke of Pharaoh. We, your friends,
Dathan and I were present and have heard
This mighty orator proclaim aloud
His great commission held of God Himself:
Nay more, he told us, and unblushing told,
That in the desart, when near Horeb's mount
He watch'd the flock of Jethro, God appear'd
In fire, and commun'd with him from the bush,
That in the midst of flames was unconsum'd.
Here is a prodigy, to him alone
Reveal'd, which almost deifies the teller,
Of none else seen and by none else affirm'd.
If this were true, it makes him friend of God;
On this he founds his mission, and appeals
To miracles in Pharaoh's presence wrought,
Which, seen by thousands, thousands will attest.
Believe me, son of Izrah, 'twere no task
Of easy function to instil suspicion
Into the people's hearts, and shake their faith
In him, who led them dry-shod through the sea."