"What though, his feet in fetters bound, / His soul th' afflicting irons wound / Yet, Joseph, patient bear thy lot."

— Merrick, James (1720-1769)

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"What though, his feet in fetters bound, / His soul th' afflicting irons wound / Yet, Joseph, patient bear thy lot."
Metaphor in Context
He calls; and on the cultur'd ground
Life's needful staff no more is found,
While Drought, incumbent o'er the plain,
Checks in mid growth the rip'ning grain.
Yet Mercy still his Wrath outran;
Thy shores, O Nile, receive the Man,
Ordain'd the chosen Race to save,
Thy future Lord, though now thy Slave.
What though, his feet in fetters bound,
His soul th' afflicting irons wound,
Yet, Joseph, patient bear thy lot
Thy lips, with heav'nly science fraught,
Shall soon the mystic Dream explain,
That ends thy woes, and breaks thy chain.
The Monarch bids; the prison door
Detains the injur'd Saint no more:
New honours now his wrongs repair;
The regal Palace to his care
Its wealth consigns; and Egypt's land
Bows to her Captive's wise command.
Ev'n Princes own'd with rev'rent awe
The dictates of his will their Law,
And Senates on his youthful tongue
In silent wonder list'ning hung.
But who is He, that, bow'd with years,
Now first on Mizraim's Coast appears?
'Tis Jacob: joy'd, that now his eyes
Have seen his Joseph e'er he dies,
Th' illustrious Pilgrim's wearied feet
In Egypt fix their last retreat.
With large increase his Line is blest,
And Zoan in th' adopted Guest
With hostile eye beholds up-grown
A strength superior to her own.
See hence the woes on Egypt pour'd!
(But Thou, O Monarch, shouldst thy word
Absolve, nor thus with impious rod
Oppress the Servants of thy God.)
See Moses, pleading, stretch the hand;
See Aaron lift the sacred wand,
And lead th' invited vengeance on
In scenes to Nature's Laws unknown.
But O, what terrors, Cham, are thine,
While quick on thy devoted Line,
Far as thy utmost coasts extend,
Thou seest the various pest descend!
If Fear their stubborn hearts may melt,
Let Darkness, Darkness to be felt,
Inclose them.--Thus th' Almighty spake:
As forth the awful accents brake,
Darkness the high behest obey'd,
And round them wrapt its thickest shade.
The Heav'n-struck Nile's extended flood
Now rolls a current black with blood;
While breathless on their oozy bed
In heaps the finny tribes are spread.
The loathsom Frog, a num'rous Birth,
Springs instant from the teeming earth,
Nor walls that guard a Monarch's rest
Know to exclude the hideous guest.
He bids; and through the darken'd air
In troops th' assembling Flies repair,
And swarms of Reptiles, scatter'd wide,
Rebuke the faithless Tyrant's pride.
In league against them now conspire
The rushing Hail, and bick'ring Fire;
And, instant, by the tempest torn,
Their ruin'd shades the forests mourn:
No more array'd in native green
The figtree and the vine are seen,
No more with flow'ring honours crown'd,
But useless load th' incumber'd ground.
He bids; and join'd in close array
Th' embattled Locusts take their way:
Before them plains with verdure grac'd
Appear; behind, a barren waste:
While the dun Beetle through the sky
With eager speed is seen to fly,
And, partner in the offer'd spoil,
Consumes th' astonish'd planter's toil.
Now to the grave, with anguish torn,
Each Mother yields her eldest-born;
And Egypt's land, along its shores,
The first-fruits of its strength deplores.
Rise, Israel, rise; for in their ear
Thy Sons the voice of Freedom hear:
The wealth of their relenting foes
Earth's sov'reign Lord on Them bestows,
And bids them leave the hostile soil
Each strong for travel, strong for toil.
As now their destin'd path they tread,
Egypt, yet pale with recent dread,
Exulting sees the sacred Band
With parting footsteps press her strand.
Expanded wide above their heads
The shadowing Cloud its curtain spreads;
Before them walks th' embodied Fire,
And bids the shades of Night retire.
Quails on their appetite bestow'd,
And Bread ethereal, gave them food;
While, at his word, from out the rock
Th' imprison'd streams luxuriant broke,
And onward pour'd, with lengthen'd train,
Ran murm'ring o'er the thirsty plain.
Such Mercies, All-indulgent Lord,
Thy changeless promises afford,
Such Blessings thy remembrance kind
Of Abraham's ever faithful mind.
Redeem'd from stern Oppression's seat,
With grateful joy their bosoms beat;
Joy, yet enlarg'd, when Canaan's Land
Resigns her scepter to their hand,
And bids them reap from off her soil
The harvest of another's toil.
(pp. 261-6, ll. 45-158)
Searching "soul" and "iron" in HDIS (Poetry)
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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.