Exodus 14: Ballade of the Red Sea

By the sea we sat in rest
And smelled the salty air
Enslaved to Egypt nevermore
To wallow in despair

I turned my gaze towards the road
From which our comp’ny came
A cloud of dust quite ominous
Arose above the plain

What could that be? I said aloud
For I had not a clue
As the answer to my question
Roared and thundered into view

Chariots with horse and rider
Several hundred strong
Plunged full speed with eyes ablaze
Towards our huddled throng

Moses! Moses! Save us now!
Please call upon the Lord!
For we will soon be put to death
By horse and spear and sword!

He turned his eyes towards the sea
“Don’t be afraid,” he said
“The Lord will fight for us this day
Sure as this sea is red.”

He waded down into the surf
And lifted up his hand
A strong east wind began to blow
Kicking up the sand

It’s difficult to describe
Just what happened next
For to this day I remain
Unquestionably vexed

To my astonishment and fear
The sea began to rise
On my left and on my right
Up toward the skies

A path emerged for us to tread
Between the wat’ry walls
Ne’er before and ne’er since
Have we walked such hallowed halls

One by one and two by two
We strode into the maw
Eager to escape again
The hardened Pharaoh’s claw

Emerged at last on safer shores
But to our deep dismay
Pharaoh’s men in hot pursuit
Would surely win the day

Moses once more raised his hand
Could he save us now?
Our freedom so precariously
Perched upon a bough

The wind abated suddenly
The sea collapsed in haste
Pharaoh’s chariots were caught
Inside that deadly space

When the frothing waves had settled
When the sea returned to glass
Our foes were nowhere to be found
Each one of them had passed

Though bodies washed up on the shore
Revulsion was but brief
In place of waves of terror
Came waves of sweet relief

The Lord had been our warrior
He triumphed o’er the king
His Glory known both far and wide
Let all rejoice and sing!

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