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.
 
Rabbi Ben Ezra
By Robert Browning
 
GROW old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
  The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith: “A whole I planned,        5
  Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”
*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *
Look not thou down but up!
To uses of a cup,
  The festal board, lamp’s flash and trumpet’s peal,
The new wine’s foaming flow,        10
The Master’s lips aglow!
  Thou, heaven’s consummate cup, what needst thou with earth’s wheel?
 
But I need, now as then,
Thee, God, who mouldest men;
  And since, not even while the whirl was worst,        15
Did I—to the wheel of life
With shapes and colors rife,
  Bound dizzily—mistake my end, to slake Thy thirst.
 
So, take and use Thy work:
Amend what flaws may lurk,        20
  What strain o’ the stuff, what warpings past the aim!
My times be in Thy hand!
Perfect the cup as planned!
  Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same!
 
 
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