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 Children of the Pale”
Anonymous
 
WHENCE comes this motley, dark-eyed, swarthy crowd,
  Of alien children in a London street,
With laughter and with chatter shrill and loud,
  And hurrying feet?
 
From that far land they come whose eagles look        5
  O’er east and west. Their fathers crossed the waves
Because they would no longer tamely brook
  The lot of slaves.
 
For generations in the gloom they dwelt
  Dark as the sombre forests of the North,        10
Till suddenly within their hearts they felt
  The call, “Come forth!”
 
The moss-grown walls of hoary synagogue
  And school, the field of Death than Life more kind,
The jewelled tables of the Decalogue,        15
  They left behind.
 
But in their hearts, as in the Holiest Place,
  They bore the ark, its manna and its rod,
The lust of knowledge and the pride of race,
  The awe of God.        20
 
And on their children’s faces I behold
  Flashes and gleams, as from some inner shrine,
Recalling ancient stories proudly told
  Of Israel’s line.
 
 
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