Joseph’s Dreams And Reuben’s Brethren
a Recital In Six Chapters
CHAPTER I I cannot blame old Israel yet, For I am not a sage I shall not know until I get The son of my old age. The mysteries of this Vale of Tears We will perchance explain When we have lived a thousand years And died and come again. No doubt old Jacob acted mean Towards his father’s son; But other hands were none too clean, When all is said and done. There were some things that had to be In those old days, ’tis true But with old Jacob’s history This tale has nought to do. (They had to keep the birth-rate up, And populate the land They did it, too, by simple means That we can’t understand. The Patriarchs’ way of fixing things Would make an awful row, And Sarah’s plain, straightforward plan Would never answer now.) his is a tale of simple men And one precocious boy A spoilt kid, and, as usual, His father’s hope and joy (It mostly is the way in which The younger sons behave That brings the old man’s grey hairs down In sorrow to the grave.) Old Jacob loved the whelp, and made, While meaning to be kind, A coat of many colours that Would strike a nigger blind! It struck the brethren green, ’twas said I’d take a pinch of salt Their coats had coloured patches too But that was not their fault. Young Joseph had a soft thing on, And, humbugged from his birth, You may depend he worked the thing For all that it was worth. And that he grafted not but crowed, You don’t need to be told, And he was mighty cocky, with His Lo! and his Behold! He took in all his brothers said, And went and told his Dad, And then, when someone split on him, No wonder they were mad. But still he wasn’t satisfied, And it would almost seem He itched to rile his brethren, for He went and dreamed a dream, And told it to his brothers straight (So Genesis believes): Lo! we were working in the field, And we were binding sheaves, And my sheaf rose and stood upright, And, straightway, for a sign, Your sheaves came round about and made Obeisance to mine! The brethren stared and made comment In words that were not mild, And when the meaning dawned on them You bet that they were wild! And Joseph left those angry men To boil and blow off steam, And ambled, chuckling, home agen To dream another dream. Behold! I’ve dreamed a dream once more! He told ’em, frank and free The sun, moon, and eleven stars Have likewise bowed to me! (Perhaps Astronomy has changed Since Joseph saw the light, But I have wondered what the sun Was doing out at night.) And when they dropped! you never heard, In sheds or shanty bars, Such awful language as escaped From those eleven stars. You know how Jacob-Israel loved His hopeful youngest pup; But, when he heard the latest dream, It shook the old man up. But Joseph talked his father round, Who humoured every whim (Perhaps old Jacob half-believed They would bow down to him): But, anyway, as always was, He backed the youngest son, And sent the others with the sheep Out to the Check-’em run. CHAPTER II Now Jacob, with that wondrous tact That doting parents show, Or, anxious for his sons out back, Sent, of all others, Joe! To see if it was well with them (And they were not asleep), With one eye on his brothers’ camp, And one eye on the sheep. He drew a blank on Check-’em run Got bushed, too, you’ll be bound. A certain cove there’s always one Saw Joseph mooning round. He asked him how it came to pass, And what it was about, And said, They’re trav-lin’ now for grass In Doothen further out. He also muttered, Strike me blue! While staring at the clothes He’d never seen a jackaroo With such a coat as Joe’s. He set the nameless on the track, And scratched his head to think, But gave it best, and, riding back, Said firmly, Strike me pink! ’Twas blazing hot in Doothen then, The sweat ran down in streams It melted out the memory Of even Joseph’s dreams! They’d had some trouble with the sheep, Some Arabs and a shirk It was a favourable time For Joe to get to work. They saw him coming, afar off In this case, you might note, Their eyesight wasn’t wonderful, Considering the coat. And what with sheep, and dust, and flies, And damned shirks in the swim With sheep stealers, the brethren were For absenteeing him. And, add to that, he scared the kine With his infernal coat They trampled on the sheep and swine And startled every goat. The brethren had to round up then As fast as ass could go, And when they got to camp agen They’d fixed it up for Joe. Save poor old Rube he had the blight, But, grafting all the same, He only looked on family rows As just a blooming shame. Like many an easy-going man, He had a cunning soul. He said, We will not kill the kid, But shove him in a hole, And leave him there to dream o’ things There’s not the slightest doubt He meant to slip round after dark And pull the youngster out, And fill his gourd and tucker-bag, And tell him Not to mind, And start him on the back-track with A gentle kick behind. Some ’Tothersider prospectors Had been there poking round; You may depend that Reuben knew ’Twas dry and shallow ground. They dropped young Joseph in a hole The giddy little goat And left him there, to cool his heels, Without his overcoat. (Don’t think that Moses, such a whale On dry facts, thought it wet To say, when they’d chucked Joseph in, It was an empty pit! So many things are preached and said Where’er the Bible is To prove that Moses never read The proofs of Genesis.) But let’s get on. While having grub, A brethren sniffed and seen Some Ishmaelites pass through the scrub Or O-asses, I mean. They’d been right out to Gilead A rather longish trip For camel-loads of balm, and myrrh, And spicery for ’Gyp. (I’ve often seen the Afghans pass With camel strings out back, And thought ’twas somewhat similar On that old Bible track. I don’t know much of balm and myrrh, Whatever they may be, But e’en when sheepskins were not there, I’ve smelt the spicery.) It was the same in Canaan then As it is here to-day: A sudden thought jerked Judah up For brofit straight away. The brethren got on one end too When Judah jumped and said, We’ll sell the kid for what he brings! He’s no good when he’s dead. And, to be short, they being Jews The chosing of the earth They sold him to the Ishmaelites For more than twice his worth. (Some Midianitish auctioneers Were also on the job.) ’Twas twenty bits of silver, which I s’pose was twenty bob. So they most comfortably got Young Joseph off their hands, For Ishmael never bothered much About receipts or brands. (They spake not of his dreams and cheek, His laziness, or skite; No doubt they thought the Ishmaelites Would see to that all right.) Then Reuben came; he’d been around To watch the sheep a bit, And on his way back to the camp He slipped round by the pit To give young Joe a drink. He stared, And, thinking Joe was dead, He rent his gown like mad, and ran For ashes for his head. (As if that would do any good! I only know that I Cannot afford to rend my clothes When my relations die. I don’t suppose they would come back, Or that the world would care, If I went howling for a year With ashes in my hair.) You say he counted on a new Rig-out? Yes? And you know That Jacob tore his garment too, So that old cock won’t crow. Look here! You keep your smart remarks Till after I am gone. I won’t have Reuben silver-tailed Nor Pharaoh, later on. The brethren humbugged Reuben well, For fear he’d take the track, And sneak in on the Ishmaelites, And steal young Joseph back, Or fight it out if he was caught, And die as it might be Or, at the best, go down with Joe And into slavery. Young Simeon slipped into the scrub, To where the coat was hid, And Judah stayed and wept with Rube, While Levi killed a kid. So they fixed up the wild-beast yarn, And Hebrews sadly note Considering the price of cloth They had to spoil the coat. (There was a yam about old Rube That all true men despise, Spread by his father’s concubines A vicious strumpet’s lies. But I believe old Moses was, As we are, well aware That Reuben stood in this last scene The central figure there.) I feel for poor old Israel’s grief, Believing all the same (And not with atheist unbelief) That Jacob was to blame. ’Twas ever so, and shall be done, While one fond fool has breath Fond folly drives the youngest son To ruin and to death. The caravan went jogging on To Pharaoh’s royal town, But Genesis gives no account Of Joseph’s journey down. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear He found it pretty rough, But there’s a bare chance that his hide, As well as cheek, was tough. I see them toiling through the heat, In patches and in dirt, With sand-grooved sandals on their feet, And slaves without a shirt The dust-caked thirst, the burning ground, The mad and maddening flies, That gathered like black goggles round The piccaninnies’ eyes. The Ishmaelites had tempers brief, And whips of hide and gut, And sometimes, p’raps, for Hagar’s sake, Gave Joe an extra cut. When, fainting by the way, he felt The stimulating touch, I have no doubt he often wished He hadn’t dreamed so much. He didn’t dream much on that trip, Although he thought a lot. However, they got down to ’Gyp In good time, where he got A wash and rest he needed both And in the old slave-yard Was sold to Captain Potiphar, Of Pharaoh’s body-guard. INTERLUDE I PAUSE to state that later on (And it seems worth the halt) Smart Judah gat into a mess, Though it was not his fault. And I would only like to say, In this most thankless task, Wives sell to husbands every day, And that without a mask. But, what with family rows and drought, And blessed women too, The fathers of terrestrial tribes Had quite enough to do. They had to graft both day and night, With no rest, save the last, For when they were not grafting they Were populating fast. CHAPTER III The Captain was a casual man, But seemed a shrewd one too; He got young Joseph’s measure soon, And saw what he could do. The Lord was with Joe, Moses said I know that Joe had pluck But I believe ’twas mostly check, And his infernal luck. The Captain made him manager, Housekeeper, overseer, And found that this arrangement paid That much at least is clear. And what with merchants, clerks, and slaves, Joe led a busy life, With one eye on the maid-servants, And Jeames and Potty’s wife. The Captain seemed a casual man, And ’Gyp was on the glide: There was a growing tendency To live and let things slide. He left all things in Joseph’s hands According to old Mose And knew not what he had besides His tucker and his clothes. I guess he had a shrewd idea, For it is now, as then The world most often makes mistakes With easy-going men. The Captain often went away For quietness and rest, And, maybe, for some other things Well, Potiphar knew best. Perhaps the missus knew it too At least, she should have known And Joe was handsome, strange, and new, And she was much alone. It seems a funny business now, But I was never there Perhaps so long as cheques came in The Captain didn’t care. ’Tis strange that Moses, such a whale On details out of joint, Should always come, in such a case, So bluntly to the point. He says Joe had a goodly form Or person it should be He says that she cast eyes on Joe, And she said, Lie with me. It took young Joseph sudden like. He’d heard, while on the run, Of other women who could lie, And in more ways than one; Of men who had been gaoled or hanged As they are here to-day (Likewise of lovers who were banged), And so he edged away. She never moved, and so he stayed While she was there to hear, For his infernal vanity Was stronger than his fear. He bragged his opportunity, His strength, and godliness: There is no greater in the house Than I. (She made him less.) ’Twas cant to brag of purity And right in that household, For what was he if not a slave, And basely bought and sold? Unmanly for a man to treat A love-starved woman so, And cowardly to humiliate A spirit thrust so low. She knew that Joseph was a spy On her and all the rest, And this, with his outspoken scorn, Made reasons manifest. She had her passions (don’t be shocked, For you have yours, no doubt), And meant to take young Joseph down And pay her husband out. He was a slave, and bought and sold, And I will say right here His preaching was too manifold And glib to be sincere, When youth and looks turn goody-good You’ll see it at a glance They have one eye to woman’s help And both on the main chance. Now, had old Rube been in his place (All honour to his name), I’ll swear he would have taken things Exactly as they came, And kept it dark or fought it out, As the ungodly can But, whatsoe’er he might have done, He would have been a man! Howbeit, the missus stuck to Joe, Vindictive, vicious, grim, And bore his sermons and rebuffs Until she cornered him. . . . He left his garment in her hand, And gat him out of that. . . . About the merits of the case I’ll say no more that’s flat. (He knew all right what she was at, And Potiphar was out, He went alone into the house When no one was about. He may have been half-drunk or mad, He certainly was blind, To run no further than the yard, And leave his coat behind!) But, seeing how our laws are fixed, If I get in such dirt, I’ll straightway get me out of that If I’ve to leave my shirt. But I will keep the running up, If I have common-sense, Nor stop this side of Jericho To think of my defence. Joe should have streaked for Suez straight, And tried his luck in flight For Canaan, where they looked on things In quite another light. Old Jacob had experience, And he’d have stuck to Joe. He was a match for women’s lies That flabbergast us so. The missus told the self-same tale, And in the self-same way, As our enfranchised females do In police courts every day. Too cowardly to breathe a breath Against the vilest rip, We send straight men to gaol or death, Just as they did in ’Gyp. Now, Potiphar was wondrous mild Suspiciously, to say The least. He didn’t operate On Joseph straight away. Perhaps he knew his wife no less Than Joe, yet had regard For his own peace and quietness So Joe got two years’ hard. CHAPTER IV The Lord was with him, Moses said, Yet his luck didn’t fail, For he got on the right side of The governor of the gaol. Perhaps he’d heard of Mrs P., And cases like to Joe’s, And knew as much of woman’s work As anybody knows. He made Joe super-lag a sort Of deputy-retained (The easy-going tendency In Egypt seemed ingrained) Left everything in Joseph’s hands, Except, maybe, the keys; And thereafter he let things slide, And smoked his pipe in peace. Now Pharaoh had some trouble with His butler and his cook, But Pharaoh seemed most lenient With asses bought to book He didn’t cut the weak end off Each absent-minded wretch, But mostly sent the idiots up To chokey for a stretch. They found themselves in Joseph’s care, And it would almost seem They’d got wind of his weaknesses, For each one dreamed a dream. They dreamed a dream; both of them. Each Man his dream in one night: Each man according to his dream (And his own dream) that’s right. Next morning they made up their mugs, And Joseph, passing through, Asked them if they were feeling cronk, And why they looked so blue? They told him they had dreamed two dreams (One each), and any dunce Can understand how such remarks Would int’rest Joe at once. And there was no interpreter, They said and that was why Joe said that that belonged to God But he would have a try. I’ve noticed this with Christians since, And often thought it odd They cannot keep their hands from things They say belong to God. The butler dreamed or, anyway, He said so (understand) He’d made some wine in Pharaoh’s cup, And placed it in his hand And Pharaoh placed the wine inside, I s’pose. But, anyways, There were three branches in the dream, Which were, of course, three days. The butler might have one again, And Joseph, going strong, By evil chance get wind of it, And diagnose it wrong! The cook had been the butler’s mate, And he thought (was it odd?) That nightmare students such as Joe Were safer far in quod. He did repent him of his fault Though it was rather late For Pharaoh’s dreams had called a halt, A reason of some weight. The butler hoped to score, but ’twas A risky thing to do, And you will wonder, later on, If Joe forgat him too. ’Twas plain to any fool, so Joe Said: Yet within three days Shall Pharaoh lift thine head up, and Restore thee to thy place. Thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup Into his hand once more. (And he shall drink the liquor down Just as it was before.) But promise, when thou art all right, And nothing is amiss, To speak to Pharaoh of my case, And get me out of this. For I was kidnapped, likewise gaoled, For nothing that I know. (And, granting his celibacy, ’Twould seem that that was so.) The cook, he was a godless cook, But quietly he stood, ’Til Joseph’s inspiration came And he saw it was good. And then his dream he did unfold, All straight and unrehearsed (Without a Lo! or a Behold! Or windmill business first): I’d three old baskets on me ’ed Now I ain’t tellin’ lies! The top ’un full of fancy bread An’ pork ’n’ kidney pies. I didn’t bother looking up, For it was blazin’ ’ot There come a flock of crimson crows And scoffed the bleedin’ lot. The cook he was a clever cook, But he’d been on the spree He put the case as man to man, And put it frank and free. He patted Joseph on the back, Told him to go ahead, And Joseph met the cook half way, And (man to man) he said: Within three days shall Pharaoh lift Thine head from off of thee, And he shall hang thee by the heels To the most handy tree. A flock of crows shall pick thy bones (And, to be trebly sure, His slaves shall pound them up with stones And use them for manure). The butler passed an anxious night He wanted matters fixed For what if Joe’s prescriptions should By some fool chance get mixed? The cook who was a careless cook Wrote scoff words on the wall, But, when the time was up, he wished He hadn’t dreamed at all. And Pharaoh gave a feast he’d got Another chef this trip And his old butler he restored Unto his butlership; But hanged the cook. And after that Or this is how it seems The butler straight away forgat Young Joseph and his dreams. And maybe he was wise, for all That anybody knows, He’d seen the headless baker hanged, And picked clean by the crows. It struck him, too, when looking back While calm and free from cares, That Joseph had an off hand way Of fixing up nightmares. CHAPTER V The gaol did Joseph little good, Except by starts and fits, But saved old Egypt for a while, And brightened up his wits. And, lest you thought me most unjust In matters lately gone, You read and know how holy Joe Sold Egypt later on. Her weather prophets were as good As ours are, every bit, But Pharaoh took to dreaming dreams, And made a mess of it. (And but for that I do not care What anybody thinks I’d not have lost my overcoat, And watch and chain, and links.) Now Joseph’s and the prisoners’ dreams Were plain as dreams could be, And more especially Pharaoh’s dreams, As far as I can see The same man who invented them Could well have read them too, But any third-rate showman knows That that would never do. There must be Lo’s, Beholds, and Yets, And It must come to pass, ’Til floods are gone, and tanks are dry, And there’s no crops nor grass. And Likewise, Alsoes, Says unto, And countless weary Ands, Until Japan sends Chinamen To irrigate the lands. And Pharaoh must take off his ring (The one from off his hand), To put upon Joe’s little fin, That all might understand. And they must ride in chariots, Have banquets everywhere, And launch trips up the Hawkesbury, To see Australia there. (I dreamed last night that cattle fed Along the river flats, They bore the brands of all the States, And looked like Queensland fats. And lo! a mob of strangers came, All bones, from horn to heel, But they had nostrils breathing flame, And they had horns of steel. I dreamed that seven sheep were shorn That went by seven tracks, And strove to live the winter through With sackcloth on their backs. And lo! I dreamed, from east and west There came two blades of heat One blackened all the towns like fire, Like drought one burnt the wheat. A black slave and a white slave laid A golden carpet down, And yellow guards stood round about, And he that came was brown. Men slaved beneath the whip in pits, Who now slave willingly They sold their birthright for a score. Now read those dreams for me!) But Joseph fixed up Pharaoh’s dreams As quick as I can tell And, for Australia’s sake, I wish That mine were fixed as well, And nationalized from trusts and rings And shady covenants; But we have thirteen little kings Of thirteen Parliaments. The years of plenty soon run out, And, from the cricket score, We’ll turn to face the years of drought And might-be years of war. With neither money, men, nor guns, With nothing but despair But I get tired of printing truths For use no matter where. Joe said to seek a wise man out, And Pharaoh took the Jew Adventurers fix up our dreams, And we elect them too. I mean no slur on any tribe (My best friend was a Yid), But we let boodlers shape our ends, And just as Pharaoh did. But Joseph did spy out the land, If not for his own good (He only boodled on the grand, It must be understood). He made a corner first in wheat, And did it thoroughly No trust has ever seen since then So great a shark as he. And when the fearful famine came, And corn was in demand, He grabbed, in God’s and Pharaoh’s name, The money, stock, and land. (He knew the drought was very bad In Canaan; crops were gone; But never once inquired how his Old Dad was getting on.) CHAPTER VI And after many barren years Of spirit-breaking work, I see the brethren journeying down From Canaan’s West-o’-Bourke And into Egypt to buy corn As, at this very hour, My brethren toil through blazing heat The weary miles for flour. ’Twas noble of our Joseph then, The Governor of the land, To bait those weary, simple men, With monies in their hand; To gratify his secret spite, As only cowards can; And preen his blasted vanity, And strike through Benjamin. He put a cup in Benny’s sack, And sent them on their way, And sent the Pleece to bring ’em back Before they’d gone a day. The constable was well aware Of Joseph’s little plan, And most indignant when he caught The wretched caravan. He yelped: Have such things come to pass? Howld hard there! Jerk ’em up! Put down yer packs from every ass, And fork out Phairey’s cup! It makes me sick, upon my soul, The gratichood of man! Ye had the feast, and then ye shtole His silver billy-can. They swore that they had seen no cup, And after each had sworn They said the sandstorm coming up Would simply spoil the corn. They begged that he would wait until They reached the nearest barn. He said, O that’s a wind that shook The barley sort of yarn! (Now I’m no sergeant, understand Ye needn’t call me that Oi want no sugar wid me sand Whin Joseph smells a rat.) Take down yer sacks from off yer backs The other asses too And rip the neck of every sack The boys will see yer through. The cup was found in Benjamin’s, As all the world’s aware The constable seemed most surprised, Because he’d put it there. A greenhorn raised on asses’ milk! Well, this beats all I know! And then, when he had cautioned them, He took the gang in tow. And when they started out to rend Their turbans and their skirts, He said, Ye drunken lunatics, Ye needn’t tear yer shirts Ye’re goin’ where there’s ladies now, So keep yer shirts on, mind. (The Guvnor got in trouble wanst For leavin’ his behind.) And Joseph gaoled and frightened them. (The feast was not amiss: It showed him most magnanimous With all that wasn’t his.) He took some extra graveyard pulls At his old Dad’s grey hairs, ’Til Judah spoke up like a man And spoke up unawares. Then Joseph said that he was Joe, With Egypt in his clutch You will not be surprised to know It didn’t cheer them much. And when he saw they were afraid, And bowed beneath the rod, He summoned snuffle to his aid, And put it all on God. And now the brethren understood, With keen regret, no doubt, That sin is seldom any good Unless it’s carried out. For after that heart-breaking trip Across the scorching sands They found themselves in Joseph’s grip, With Benny on their hands. (Poor Reuben, to persuade his dad To let the youngster come, Had left his own sons’ lives in pledge For Benjamin, at home. But life is made of many fires And countless frying-pans As fast as we get rid of Joe’s We’re plagued by Benjamin’s.) Joe had a use for them, so he Bade them to have no fear. He said to them, It was not you, But God, who sent me here. He sent me on to save your lives; He hath sent you to me, To see to you and all your wives, And your posterity. The Lord God hath exalted me, And made me His right hand A father unto Pharaoh, and A ruler in the land, And likewise lord of Egypt He said a few things more, And then he got to business straight I’ve heard such cant before. Those who have read will understand I never mean to scoff, But I hate all hypocrisy And blasted showing-off. How cunningly our holy Joe Fixed up his tribe’s affairs For his own ends, and sprang the job On Pharaoh unawares. The fame was heard in Pharaoh’s house, Where peace and kindness thrived, Saying, Joseph’s brethren are come (Joe’s brothers have arrived). And Pharaoh heard, and was well pleased, For he was white all through. (And Moses says, without remark, It pleased the servants too.) But Pharaoh promptly put an end To Joseph’s mummery. He said, Send waggons up, and bid Thy people come to me. Thou art commanded! Furnish them With money and with food; And say that I will give them land, And see that it is good. And Jacob’s sons chucked up their runs With blessings short and grim, And Jacob took the stock and gear And all his seed with him. They sent the family tree ahead, And Pharaoh read that same (They found him very tired, ’twas said, And misty when they came). And Pharaoh unto Joseph spake Most kind, though wearily: Thy father and thy brethren all Are now come unto thee; And Egypt is before thee now, So in the best land make Thy father and thy brethren dwell The land of Goshen take; And there, unhindered, let them thrive, In comfort let them dwell, Apart and free. My people love All shepherds none too well But if thou knowest amongst them men Of proved activity, Then make them rulers over all My flocks and herds for me. They brought five brethren unto him, And he was very kind Perhaps he looked those brethren through, And saw what lay behind. His head he rested on his hand, And smoothed his careworn brow, He gazed on Israel thoughtfully, And asked, How old art thou? And Jacob told him, and was touched. He said his days were few And evil. They had not attained To those his father knew. But Jacob only had himself, And no one else, to thank If Joe had given his grey hairs A second graveyard yank. I think that Pharaoh was a man Who always understood, But was content to stand aside If for his people’s good, And seem not missed the while. He knew His merits and no pride And ’twas a grievous day for Jew And Gentile when he died. You know the rest of Joseph’s tale, And well the poor Egyptians knew House agent on the grand old scale, He boodled till the land was blue. He squeezed them tight, and bled them white . . . . . Until a Pharaoh came in sight Who didn’t know him from a crow. The Patriarchs, right back from Dad To where the line begins, Were great at passing blessings on, Together with their sins. Old Noah was about the first Cursed Ham till all was blue, But ’twas with some effect he cursed, And with good reason too. And when the time had come to pass For Jacob to be gone, He polished up his father’s sins And calmly passed them on. He called his twelve sons round his bed (Lest some good might befall), He called his twelve sons to be blessed, And cursed them, one and all Save Joseph; and the rest had cause To curse him ere they got The English, who have every day More cause to damn the lot. And if they crossed the Red Sea now, I guess we’d let them go, With Satan hurry Kohenstein And God speed Ikey Mo! And lest my Jewish friends be wroth As they won’t be with me I’ll say that there is Jewish blood In my posterity. This verse, I trust, shall profit him When he has ceased to grow My firstborn, who was known as Jim, But whose true name is Joe. AFTERWORD I’ve written much that is to blame, But I have only sought to show That hearts of men were just the same Some forty centuries ago. All kindness comes with woman’s love That which she claims is due to her Not man! not man! but God above Dare judge the wife of Potiphar. And Jacob shall be ever blind To reason and posterity, In that fond folly of mankind That is born of impotency. No parents’ love or parents’ wealth Shall ever fairly portioned be, Faith shall not come, except by stealth, Nor justice in one family. And Joseph proved unto this hour Just what he was in Holy Writ A selfish tyrant in his power, And, up or down, a hypocrite. And Joseph still, whate’er befall, But gives his place to Benjamin, And Reuben bears the brunt of all, Though Judah does the best he can. The hearts of men shall never change While one man dies and one is born, We journey yet, though ways seem strange, Down into Egypt to buy corn. Some prosper there, and they forget; And some go down, and are forgot; And Pride and Self betray us yet, Till Pharaohs rise that know us not. But kindliness shall live for aye, And, though we well our fate deserve, Samaritans shall pass that way, And kings like Pharaoh rule to serve. We’re fighting out of Egypt’s track And, ah! the fight is ever grand Although, in Canaan or Out Back, We never reach the Promised Land.