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.
 
Supplication
By Jose ben Jose
 
(Paraphrased from the Hebrew of R. Jose ben Jose.)

OUR sins are many, and we sigh
  For that we hearkened not to Thee
When all the time we knew Thee nigh,
  But proud in our prosperity
We went our ways with head on high.        5
 
Now wasted is our strength, and we
  Are like an armless soldier grown;
All that our fathers wrought for Thee
  Is nought, and now we stand alone
In shame and dire infirmity.        10
 
We are like stubble on the plain
  That no one seeks to gather in
Or load upon the harvest wain—
  Consuming fire will purge our sin
And lead us pure to Thee again.        15
 
O Lord, Thy seal accounts us Thine;
  Of yore when in our dire distress
We craved Thy charity divine,
  Thou didst us with Thy mercy bless;
O be Thou in this hour benign!        20
 
The driven leaf let healing cure,
  Repent Thee for this human dust.
O cleanse us that we may be pure,
  Let all our sins from Thee be thrust—
Thy mercy is for ever sure!        25
 
 
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