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.
 
Moses and the Dervish
By Owen Meredith
 
GOD, that heaven’s seven climates hath spread forth,
To every creature, even as is the worth,
The lot apportions, and the use of things.
If to the creeping cat were given wings
No sparrow’s egg would ever be a bird.        5
 
Moses the Prophet, who with God conferred,
Beheld a Dervish, that, for dire distress
And lack of clothes to hide his nakedness
Buried his body in the desert sand.
This Dervish cried:        10
          “O Moses, whom the Hand
Of the Most High God favors! make thy prayer
That he may grant me food and clothes to wear
Who knows the misery of me and the need.”
 
Then Moses prayed to God, that he would feed        15
And clothe that Dervish.
              Nine days after this,
Returning from Mount Sinai in bliss,
Having beheld God’s face, the Prophet met
The Dervish in the hands of Justice, set        20
Between two officers; and all about
The rabble followed him with hoot and shout
And jeer.
The Prophet asked of those that cried,
“What hath befallen this man?”        25
                And they replied,
“He hath drunk wine, and having slain a man,
Is going to the death.”
                Moses began
To praise the Maker of the Universe,        30
Seeing that his prayer, though granted, proved perverse,
Since God to every living soul sets forth
The circumstance according to the worth.
 
 
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