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.
 
“Beloved, you must go—ask not to stay”
By Corinne Roosevelt Robinson
 
PARTING
BELOVED, you must go—ask not to stay,
  You are a mother and your duties call;
  And we, who have so long been all in all,
Must put the human side of life away.
For one brief moment let us stand and pray,        5
  Sealed in the thought that whatso’er befall
  We, who have known the freedom and the thrall,
Of a great love, in death shall feel its sway—
You, who must live, because of his dear need,
  You are the one to bear the harder part:—        10
Nay, do not cling—’tis time to say good-by,
  Think of me then but as a spirit freed—
  Flesh of my Flesh, and Heart of my own Heart,
The love we knew has made me strong to die.
 
TOGETHER
I cannot leave you, ask me not to go,
        15
  Love of my youth and all my older years;
  We, who have met together smiles or tears,
Feeling that each did but make closer grow
The union of our hearts—Ah say not so
  That Death shall find us separate. All my fears        20
  Are but to lose you. Life itself appears
A trifling thing—But one great truth I know,
When heart to heart has been so closely knit
That Flesh has been one Flesh and Soul one Soul,
Life is not life if they are rent apart—        25
And death unsevered is more exquisite.
As we, who have known much, shall read the whole
Of Life’s great secret on each other’s heart!
 
 
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