Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
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Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
 
The Rose of Sharon
By Abram S. Isaacs
 
IN his chamber sat the Rabbi
Poring o’er the book of learning,
When a knight with clanking armor
Sudden stood upon the threshold.
 
Gleamed the cross upon his shoulder,        5
And his countenance was warlike.
For the tall commanding figure
Was from Palestine returning.
 
As he gazed at the Crusader
Ceased the rabbi’s heart its beating,        10
But—upon his lips warm praises
And a sturdy hand did clasp him.
 
Spoke the Knight, “We both are striving
Toward the same end, good and holy;
My strong arm I must confide in,        15
But thy help’s thy stronger spirit.
 
“Seekers of the truth, O Rabbi,
Comrades are we with one purpose.
Pledge and promise your friendship,
Take this rose from soil of Zion.”        20
 
Said the Rabbi: “Dost thou know not
Wondrous miracle that clusters
In the withered Rose of Sharon,
How it blossoms in the love-glance?
 
“Ah, how like the rose, my people!        25
Parched and drooping in its exile;
But when love-gleam rests upon it,
Dwelling safe in happy freedom,
 
“Swells its soul, then, in sweet rapture,
Fragrant too, its spirit blossoms        30
While it wakens to the new life
And forgets its olden sorrows.”
 
 
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