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.
 
The Arch of Titus
By Harry Wolfsohn (Trans. Horace M. Kallen from the Hebrew)
 
CRUMBLING, age-worn, in Rome the eternal,
Stands the arch of Titus’ triumph,
With its carven Jewish captives
Shouldering the holy Menorah.
  And each nightfall, when the turmoil        5
  Of the Petrine clangor ceaseth,
  Seven flames the arch illumine,
  Mystic glowings, burning strangely.
Then cast off their graven shackles,
  Judah’s sons of marble graven,        10
Living step they from the ruin,
Living stride they from the Jordan.
  They are healed in its waters,
  Till the freshness of each dawning,
  Then resume their ancient labor,        15
  Perfect marble, whole and holy.
Dust of dust the wheeling seasons
Grind that mighty archéd splendor,
Rase the Gaul and rase the Roman,
Grind away their fame and glory,        20
  The shackled Jews alone withstand them,
  Shouldering their holy Menorah.
 
 
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