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.
 
When I Think of Thee, O Zion
By John D. Nussbaum
 
WHEN I think of thee, O Zion,
  Glory of the Holy Land,
Recollecting thee as city,
  Chartered by Jehovah’s hand;
Thy gates of pearl, thy walls of gold,        5
By sage and prophet long foretold,
I do wonder—I know not why
How camest thou so low to lie?
 
When I think of thee, O Zion,
  Of thy renown, of thy great fame;        10
When my lips the word doth whisper
  Mentioning thy Holy Name,
Name pronounced by many a tongue
In reverent accents often sung;
Name so cherished, tell me why        15
Recalling thee, my heart doth sigh.
 
“What if strangers do me honor,
  Carry my banner and call me free;
What if Gentiles ‘Allelujah,’
  ‘Amen’ shout and swear by me?        20
When those children I call mine
List not, and ’bide across the line?
This the reason I bitterly cry.”
Thus sadly Zion doth reply.
 
“Can a mother forget her own,        25
  Her only son, her bosom child?
Will other children satisfy
  The craving for the first that smiled?
Will ever multitude replace
The laugh that lit the cradled face?        30
Never, never will Zion rest
Until her own are in her nest.”
 
 
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