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 Two Rabbis
By Mrs. Levitus
 
THERE stood upon Moriah’s mount,
  Two aged men with hoary hair;
One glanced around with smiling brow,
  The other wept in deep despair.
 
“Jerusalem, Oh! Jerusalem!        5
  Land of my love,” the weeper cried;
“Thy scattered sons in exile weep,
  And alien are thy state and pride.
 
“Fierce jackals ’mid thy ruins howl;
  The prowling lion seeks his prey        10
On the spot where once thy temple stood;
  And thy brave children,—Where are they?
 
“With weary feet, and aching heart,
  Scattered, despised, a fallen race,
They wander far in alien lands,        15
  And seek in vain a resting place.
 
“And then how canst thou smile, to see
  Our hopes, our glory perish all?
How canst thou gaze with joyous glance
  Upon our temple’s ruined wall?”        20
 
“I smile,” the other said, “because,
  In all the Eternal’s power I see,
And hope springs up within my heart,
  Even from our depths of misery.
 
“For surely as the Almighty hand        25
  Destroyed our land for guilt and crime,
So surely will he raise us up
  To joy, at his appointed time.
 
“Hath he not said that Israel’s sons
  Shall once again be free and great?        30
Hath he not said, in Zion’s halls
  Shall once again be kingly state?
 
“A great and glorious destiny
  Will yet be ours in future years;
And thus my face with smiles is glad,        35
  While thine is dewed with bitter tears.”
 
 
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