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 Magic Words
By Melvin G. Winstock
 
THE SCENE of conflict was a level plain
That lay among the stretching hills of Spain,
And on the sand that glistened in the sun,
Ten thousand lay, whose hours of life had run.
 
’Till noonday’s heat, from earliest sign of dawn,        5
The battling forces were in combat drawn,
And ere the sun sank in the silent West,
A host of men had found eternal rest.
 
Behind the battle-field, beneath a tent,
A soldier lay, on death his vision bent,        10
A kindly Priest, that spoke of God, was near,
A Doctor, he was there, but full of fear.
 
Each was a Jew, had each a Hebrew’s zeal,
But neither dared his name or race reveal.
But death had robbed them of their mortal fears,        15
Here in his shadow they could spend their tears.
 
“Shemang Yisrael,” the dying soldier breathed,
His face, in death, with smiles all wreathed.
“Adonai Elohenoo,” said piously the man of God;
The Doctor murmured, “Adonai Echod.”        20
 
The Priest reached out, and grasped the Doctor’s hand,
These magic words had forged a mighty band,
And then upon the Doctor’s bosom lay his head,
And wept. The soldier now, alas! was dead.
 
 
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