Mare Rubrum

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Mare Rubrum
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
In the 1913 collection of his work, The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar.

              MARE RUBRUM

In Life's Red Sea with faith I plant my feet,
   And wait the sound of that sustaining word
     Which long ago the men of Israel heard,
When Pharaoh's host behind them, fierce and fleet,
Raged on, consuming with revengeful heat.
     Why are the barrier waters still unstirred?—
     That struggling faith may die of hope deferred?
Is God not sitting in His ancient seat?

The billows swirl above my trembling limbs,
   And almost chill my anxious heart to doubt
     And disbelief, long conquered and defied.
But tho' the music of my hopeful hymns
  Is drowned by curses of the raging rout,
     No voice yet bids th' opposing waves divide!

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.