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.
 
Brotherly Love
Attributed to Thomas Bailey Aldrich
 
THE RABBI JUDAH, so the scribes relate,
Sat with his brethren once in a warm debate
About those things which each considered best
To bring to earth immunity and rest.
Then said the one requested to begin:        5
“Rest comes from wealth, if there be peace within.”
 
The second said: “It springs from honest fame,
And having all men magnify your name.”
The third said: “Rest is being truly great,
Coupled with power to rule some mighty state.”        10
The fourth said: “Such a rest as we presage
Reach men in only the extremest age,
When wealth and power and fame unite to go
To children—and unto their children flow.”
 
The fifth said: “All these various things are vain;        15
Rest comes to those who all the law maintain.”
Then said the Rabbi Judah, grave and old,
The tallest of the group with him enrolled:
“You all speak wisely, but no rest is deep
To him who the traditions fails to keep.”        20
 
Now spoke a fairhaired boy up from the grass—
A boy of twelve, who heard these words repass,
And dropped the lilies from his slender hands;
“Nay, father; none among you understands.
True rest he only finds who evermore        25
Looks not behind, but to the things before;
Who, scorning fame and power and home and pelf,
Loveth his brother as he loves himself.”
 
 
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