Materialistic progress is our present Pharaoh;
But our Moses has come to demand, Let my people go.

The priests of science demonstrate their magical arts.
But God-Man’s word makes their atom-blasts little farts.

Pharaoh withholds the straw, but requires the same tale of bricks;
And orders extra booze for his boot-licking sidekicks.

We come to the Episode of the Divided Sea
And the walled waters collapsing on the enemy.

The film runs on: He has brought us to the wilderness,
And, slave-hearted, we complain, You have brought us under duress.

So we stick up a golden calf the moment he is gone,
In order to enjoy captivity in Babylon;

In order that a poet might compose the Lament,
In order that Jesus God-Man of himself be ‘sent’.


The film still goes on! Biblical themes but not quite biblical diction in places. Cecil B. DeMille’s film came out in 1956 so the message was still topical.

The escape from Egypt is of course the archetype story of deliverance from bondage in a land of ungodliness for the Israelites.

The story of Moses and the magicians is told in Exodus 7. Pharaoh’s magicians were able to change their staffs into serpents. The real magic of Moses created serpents which ate these up. The point is that we have all been captured by the marvels performed by science, magic, but limited when compared to the Avatar. We bow down before a materialist belief system and its achievements. The whole scientific military complex is heading for catastrophe like the sweeping away of Pharaoh’s army by the Red Sea.

For the bricks without straw episode see Exodus 5:6-21

Like the Israelites we resist the purifying of the desert, the hardships of the way. We worship the luxuries of our own captivity. Like the Old Testament prophets the poet must lament. Baba comes to challenge the world to let His people go. Not just a slogan for blacks in America.

» ghazal #87 »