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.
 
Man, the Image of God
By Penina Moïse
 
EXULT, my soul, in consciousness proud,
That I in God’s image was made:
That ’mid nature’s irrational crowd,
Moral light to me was conveyed;
When dust, by His pure breath refined,        5
In flesh the “vital spark” enshrined.
 
Oh! how shall I deserve the station
Omnipotence assigns to me;
Whose spiritual elevation
Is next to angels in degree?        10
How Mercy’s likeness manifest,
Reflected in each mortal breast?
 
Perilous pre-eminence! to hold
Perfection’s model in the mind;
Yet feel how the inferior mould        15
In which its essence is confined,
May all its majesty efface,
And leave of stamp divine no trace.
 
Immortal reason! hast thou no beam
Of bright intelligence to prove        20
Thy semblance to that Sire supreme,
Whose breath is life, whose blessing love?
Triumph! though passions dim thy ray,
In thee God’s image we survey.
 
Justice, by thee e’er directed,        25
His strongest feature typifies;
In truth (through reason best reflected)
His spirit’s light I recognize;
And in beneficence e’er trace
His brightest trait; celestial grace!        30
 
How glorious this filiation
Between the Lord of worlds and me!
Oh! how shall I deserve the station,
Next to the angels in degree?
Like these, by walking in His ways;        35
Like these, by singing e’er His praise.
 
 
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