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.
 
Tourist and Cicerone
By Ludwig August Frankl (Trans. Henry Cohen)
 
“GOOD sir, thou didst me order
To lead thee through this border,
  To view this very place;
But through this archway Roman
With free will passeth no man        5
  Of all my suffering race.
 
“See! with its decoration,
This arch derides my nation,
  By Titus scourged and slain!
It pictures his achievements,        10
And all of our bereavements;
  Its sight fills me with pain.
 
“Then, sir, do not command me,
Indeed, I would withstand thee,
  The custom I’ll not break!        15
Alone go through the gateway,
While I around and straightway
  Will meet thee,” thus he spake.
 
“My faithful guide, know thy way
Is parallel with my way,”        20
  I forthwith made remark;
“I hate the chariots gory,
But love Judea’s glory—
  The Candlestick and Ark.”
 
Whereat he gazed in wonder        25
Upon my face,—and under
  His eyelids teardrops stole,
He touched my hand then quickly,
Half doubtfully, half meekly,
  And said, “Sh’ma Yisroel!”        30
 
Of course, my tears descended,
While I the greeting ended,
  “Adonoi Echod!”
Around the archway turning,
The past within us burning—        35
  “Jehovah is our God.”
 
 
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