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.
 
A Song of Zion
By Walter Vernon-Epstein
 
I
JERUSALEM, my boast and pride,
  My heart, it yearns for thee,
The land where peace and joy abide,
  Thy shores when shall I see?
 
II
O perfect, pure and pleasant soil,
        5
  Far-famed as Israel’s race,
I love thy fields, thy fruits, thy toil,
  Thy trees of stately grace.
 
III
’Neath thy blue skies no mist is seen,
  No drear nor darksome night;        10
Thy very hills of splend’rous sheen,
  For God has made thee right.
 
IV
Of precious stones thy walls are made,
  Thy ramparts, jewels rare,
Thy gates of oriental jade,        15
  That spread a radiant glare.
 
V
Of ivory hue thy homes are built,
  Thy windows, crystal clear;
And every soul is free from guilt,
  For God hath sent His cheer.        20
 
VI
Jerusalem! my people’s home,
  Would God, I were in thee;
No more the Exile’s aimless roam,
  My paradise across the sea.
 
VII
Where shepherds and their flocks abound,
        25
  Where birds prolong their lay,
Where flowers bloom the whole year round,
  And all the earth seems gay.
 
VIII
Thy mountains stand, as heroes bold,
  Thy rivers softly pass;        30
Thy pastures oft in psalms extolled,
  Of nectar, breathes thy grass.
 
IX
No thing that is not passing clean
  Can come within thy gates;
On every side a smile is seen,        35
  And joy e’en permeates.
 
X
There hate and envy cannot dwell,
  There lucre holds no sway,
There malice died, and Sh’kina’s spell,
  Makes heavy hearts feel gay.        40
 
XI
Rememb’rest thou the ancient days,
  When prophets crowned thy streets,
When Levites with their chants of praise
  Recalled thy wond’rous feats?
 
XII
In foreign lands thy sons abide,
        45
  We see thee but in dreams;
We sob, we sigh, our tears are dried
  And Hope, it becks and beams.
 
XIII
“Another year,” we softly pray
  “O, Lord,” Thy children cry;        50
“O, take us back to Yesterday,
  To Israel’s cherished destiny.”
 
XIV
Each day we pray, in accents low
  Would God I were with thee;
Our Faith is strong, our hopes they grow        55
  Our Fatherland to see.
 
 
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