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 Israel
By J. H. Cuthbert
 
O ISRAEL! wanderer through the weary years
            Of wild unrest;
A world-wide pilgrimage of hopes and fears,
Sometimes in joy, but oft’ner far in tears,
            As God knows best.        5
 
Since Jacob laid him down that night to sleep
            On Bethel’s stone,
And saw the angel legions downward sweep,
Their watch around the fugitive to keep—
            Never alone.        10
 
Beside the majestic Nile, on Egypt’s sand,
            He pitched his tent;
There on the desert saw the uplifted hand,
In cloud and fire still pointing to the land
            Of sweet content.        15
 
Beside the Euphrates, where Babylon’s wall
            So proudly stood
He saw the giant empires rise and fall,
A captive exile, yet unharmed through all,
            Beside that flood.        20
 
And when in wrath the Roman eagles came
            To Zion’s Hill,
And drove him out in thunder and in flame,
A stranger in the earth—Jehovah’s name
            Upheld him still.        25
 
See yonder, on the snow-clad Russian plain,
            His children driven,
Beset and hunted by the imperial train
Like sheep by wolves. But surely not in vain
            They cry to Heaven.        30
 
Far brighter than the Northern-lights that gleam
            Upon the air,
The signals of the great Shekinah stream
And, like the memories of a blessed dream,
            Bid him good cheer!        35
 
Good cheer, O Jacob! though a wanderer still
            In all the earth.
Thy foes will but the promises fulfill
And drive the exile home to Zion’s Hill,
            That gave him birth.        40
 
A nation scattered through the earth, yet one
            In every land;
As the blue waters of the Gulf-stream run
Through the high seas, yet mingling still with none,
            Behold God’s hand!        45
 
God speed the day when Jew and Gentiles all
            Shall meet as one
At the glad welcome of their Father’s call
In the dear home where shadows never fall,
            Their warfare done.        50
 
 
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