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.
 
To the Glory of Jerusalem
By Judah Ha-Levi
 
BEAUTIFUL height! O joy! the whole world’s gladness!
  O great King’s city, mountain blest!
My soul is yearning unto thee—is yearning
  From limits of the west.
 
The torrents heave from depths of mine heart’s passion,        5
  At memory of thine olden state:
The glory of thee which was born to exile,
  Thy dwelling desolate.
 
And who shall grant me but to rise and reach thee,
  Flying on eagle’s pinions fleet,        10
That I may shed upon thy dust, beloved,
  Tears, till thy dust grow sweet?
 
I seek thee, though thy King be no more in thee,
  Though where the balm hath been of old—
Thy Gilead’s balm—be poisonous adders lurking,        15
  Winged scorpions manifold.
 
Is it not to thy stones I shall be tender?
  Shall I not kiss them verily?
Shall not the earth taste on my lips be sweeter
  Than honey—the earth of thee?        20
 
 
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