Poems and Prose Remains, Vol II

Genesis XXIV

Arthur Hugh Clough

WHO is this man
                that walketh in the field,
O Eleazar,
                steward to my lord?

And Eleazar
                answered her and said,
Daughter of Bethuel,
                it is other none
But my lord Isaac,
                son unto my lord,
Who, as his wont is,
                walketh in the field,
In the hour of evening,
                meditating there.

Therefore Rebekah
                basted where she sat,
And from her camel
                ’lighting to the earth,
Sought for a veil
                and put it on her face.

But Isaac also,
                walking in the field,
Saw from afar
                a company that came,
Camels, and a seat
                as where a woman sat;
Wherefore he came
                and met them on the way.

Whom, when Rebekah
                saw, she came before,
Saying, Behold
                the handmaid of my lord;
Who, for my lord’s sake,
                travel from my land.

But he said, O
                thou blessed of our God,
Come, for the tent
                is eager for thy face.
Shall not thy husband,
                be unto thee more than
Hundreds of kinsmen
                living in thy land?

And Eleazar answered,
                Thus and thus,
Even according
                as thy father bade,
Did we; and thus and
                thus it came to pass:
Lo! is not this
                Rebekah, Bethuel’s child.

And, as he ended,
                Isaac spoke and said,
Surely my heart
                went with you on the way,
When with the beasts
                ye came unto the place.

Truly, O child
                of Nahor, I was there,
When to thy mother
                and thy mother’s son
Thou madest answer,
                saying, I will go.
And Isaac brought her
                to his mother’s tent.

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