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.
 
During the Crusades (“Although tormented and ill-treated”)
By Kalonymus Ben Judah
 
ALTHOUGH tormented and ill-treated,
And dragged to die upon the scaffold,
We cling to Thee with growing fervor.
They strike and wound us sorely,
To turn our hearts from Him that liveth,        5
And to impress us with their worship.
They tempt us with enticements,
And would ensnare us with their cunning;
That we, deserting Thee, should barter
Our faith for faith in Baal’s power.        10
Embroidered even on their vesture
Is shown to us the sign of terror.
With flattery, too, they would beguile us;
But we are Thine, though maimed and shattered!
The pious wives despatch the work        15
And offer up their guileless babes,
The fathers quickly slay their sons,
And wish not to survive their dead.
To render homage to Thy unity,
The young, the fair, prepare for death,        20
With “Hear O Israel!” on their lips.
The bride and bridegroom now breathe forth
The dying words, “The Lord is One!”
They who, in life were wedded,
Through hallowed death are reunited.        25
 
 
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