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.
 
Divine Love
Anonymous
 
   “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”—Deut. vi. 5.

I KNOW not what this world would be
(Not even by analogy)
If love were banished for a time
To other realm, or other clime;
But no, it is not bound by space,        5
But with illimitable grace
Glides through all worlds, and lives in all,
All hearts and souls it does enthral;
Some, where the spirit seldom dwelt
’Tis not quite banished or forgot;        10
It were indeed a dreary spot
Without one single ray of love,
That heavenly blessing from above,
For what were virtue, goodness, truth,
Without the light of love? in sooth        15
They would not be—they could not last
Without this heavenly antepast;
This foretaste of celestial love
Vicegerent here, but crowned above.
Oh! love, thou pure and holy thing,        20
What are the blessings thou dost bring?
Nay, rather, what is happiness
But love in some new guise or dress?
Even from birth ’tis love that fills
Each avenue of soul—instils        25
Its spiritual influence
And makes us all love excellence,
Whatever bears the noble stamp
Of great and good; ’tis this pure lamp
Which lights our path and gives us hope,        30
Extends our views to higher scope.
We love to read, to hear, to earn,
And why? because our spirits burn.
 
 
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