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"Once again, heart's dearest, kiss me, Clasp me to thy loyal heart.

1 shall need thee, thou wilt miss me; We are one

Ever, though long leagues apart."



Fourteen suns their course have sped:
Spinning for her daily bread,
Still an exile from her home,

Struggled Ruth with want to code,
Waiting God's own time, in hope,
But the shepherd did not come.
At her window, with her rock,
She is sitting; tufts of stock,
In a pitcher, scent the air,

As the sun upon her shines,
Mark the many silver lines
Traced among the raven hair.
On this day a Rabbi great
Seeks the city in high state,
With the pupils by him led.
There are gathered in the street
Citizens their guest to greet,
Calba Shebua at their head.

Ruth but little heeds the throng,
Murmuring a plaintive song,
As the spindle briskly twirls.

She is dreaming of a lad
With a shepherd's crook, who had
Eyes of blue and amber curls.

But there bursts from her a sigh,
Starts the torrent to her eye,
As her haughty father nears;
Falls the spindle, and the line
Of the flax that she doth twine
Twinkles with her threaded tears.

With a glance of hard disdain,
Cutting her with cruel pain,
At his daughter Calba stares.

O'er her work she bows her face,
Praying God would of His grace
Soothe the anguish that she bears.

When she lifts her head, a shout
From the eager mob without
Tells her he of high renown

Is approaching in the street.
Sounds the tramping of the feet
As he passes through the town.

Slowly, midst a concourse great
Of disciples who did wait
On the lessons that he taught,

Passed the Rabbi, tall and fair,
With blue eyes and amber hair,
And a forehead full of thought.
Calba Shebua, his white head
Bending, with his hands outspread,
Touching with his brow the ground,
Said, "Oh! highest in repute,
Rabbi! we in thee salute
Lofty wisdom, lore profound.
"Out of Jamnia1 hath report
Tidings of thy learning brought;
Higher honour for our place

None than this, that thou shouldst deign

Us to visit. Oh, remain,
And our little city grace!

"We our servants, homes, and land,
Rabbi! place at thy command,
Only.-here with us abide!"

"Hold! disciples round me gather! Thou hast promised, ancient father," Suddenly the stranger cried.

There was silence through the crowd:
Then he spoke, 'fore all, aloud,
"Rabbi, hear me! wilt thou take

Me as inmate of thy house,
Give thy daughter as my spouse?
Calba Shebua, answer make!"

"Oh, how gladly!" faintly spoke
Calba, as suspicion broke
Dimly on his troubled brain.

"Hear him!" Then the stranger turned Whither long his heart had yearned, Thither now his fingers strain.

"My disciples! bend vour glance
On my wife-in speechless trance,
Leaning at yon onen pane.

All I have, and all I know,
I to yonder woman owe,
She gave all, that I might gain.
"Oh, true woinan! holy, pure,
Ready meekly to endure,

1Jamnia, at the time of the Maccabees, was a large and populous haven. After the destruction of Jerusalem, it became the seat of the Rabbinicar schools.

In thy sweet, unselfish love;
God-made woman! man were vile
But for thee to reconcile
Him to labour; and to prove
Mainspring to all actions high,
Ready, impulse to supply,
And his sluggish nature move.

"God-made woman! man may roam Years from thee,-but thou art home, Whither with the olive leaf

Must his whitest longings wing, And their purest treasures bring; Solace thou to every grief.

"Let me pass! in very_truth, Sighs my spirit after Ruth, Clear a passage to the door!

Back, sirs! we must meet alone, That true heart is mine,-mine own. See! her dear eyes trickle o'er.

"Let me pass, to wipe those tears,
We have not met for fourteen years.
If in all the mighty store
Of my learning garnered,
Aught is worthless-from my head
Shall her fingers pluck the straw."


BEN LEVI sat with his books alone
At the midnight's solemn chime,
And the full-orb'd moon through his

lattice shone

In the power of autumn's prime; It shone on the darkly learned page, And the snowy locks of the lonely Sage

But he sat and mark'd not its silvery light,

For his thoughts were on other themes that night.

Wide was the learn'd Ben Levi's fame
As the wanderings of his race-
And many a seeker of wisdom came
To his lonely dwelling place;
For he made the darkest symbols clear,
Of ancient doctor and early seer.

Yet a question ask'd by a simple maid
He met that eve in the linden's shade,
Had puzzled his matchless wisdom more

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Old were the characters, and black As the soil when sear'd by the lightning's track,

But broad and full that the dimmest sight

Might clearly read by the moon's pale light;

But, oh! 'twas a dark and fearful theme
That fill'd each crowded page-
The gather'd records of human crime
From every race and age.

All the blood that the Earth had seen
Since Abel's crimson'd her early green;
All the vice that had poison'd life
Since Lamech wedded his second wife;
All the pride that had mock'd the skies
Since they built old Babel's wall;-
But the page of the broken promises
Was the saddest page of all.

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For vows in that blacken'd page had place

Which Time had ne'er reveal'd, And many a faded and furrow'd face By death and dust conceal'dEyes that had worn their light away In weary watching from day to day, And tuneful voices which Time had heard

Grow faint with the sickness of hope deferr'd.

The Rabbi read till his eye grew dim With the mist of gathering tears, For it woke in his soul the frozen stream

Which had slumber'd there for years; And he turn'd, to clear his clouded sight, From that blacken'd page to the sky so bright

And joy'd that the folly, crime, and

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Long and well had Ben Levi preach'd
Against the sins of men-

And many a sinner his sermons reach'd,
By the power of page and pen:
Childhood's folly, and manhood's vice,
And age with its boundless avarice,
All were rebuk'd, and little ruth
Had he for the venial sins of youth.

But never again to mortal ears

Did the Rabbi preach of aught
But the mystery of trust and tears
By that wondrous volume taught.
And if he met a youth and maid
Beneath the linden boughs-
Oh, never a word Ren Levi said,
But-"Beware of Broken Vows!"



IN quaint old Talmud's pages,
Where speak the Jewish sages,
I found this pearl to-night:
Behold it, fair and white!

For, as the rabbins say,
Two angels guard the way

Of him on Sabbath eve
Who turns his homeward feet
Off through the busy street,
The synagogue to leave.
And if the lamps are lit,
If there the maidens sit
With the mother by their side;
If there the youths abide
At the quiet eventide-
Then speaks the spirit blest-
"Here let all blessing rest!
May every Sabbath be
Like this one unto thee;
Peace to this dwelling, peace!"
And he of little ease,
The restless demon, then,
Musters a rough "Amen!"

But if the darkness there
Obscures the evening prayer;
If matron and if maid
Show worldliness displayed;
And if the youths have place
In regions low and base-
Then sneers the evil one:
"Be all thy blessings gone!
Make every Sabbath be
Like this one unto me!"

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By the dark mountains guarded well, and on the other side

Of Havila, for gold renowned, a land lies broad and wide. Four-square it lies-a man

at speed might travel every way, And would not pass from end to end until the ninetieth day.

The mountains with their barriers dark upon three sides enclose This goodly land, but on the fourth a wondrous river flows; Between whose banks no water rolls, but rush and roar along Rocks, stones, and mixed, strong;

sand, together

with tumult loud and

And higher than the houses' tops huge fragments leap and fly

But on the holy seventh day it sleepeth quietly.

Sabbation it is therefore named, for

on the Sabbath day

From eve till eve again comes back, that river sleeps alway; Without a sound or slightest stir that day it doth remain,

But then, the Sabbath done, returns unto its strength again

So fierce that if in middle stream were set an adamant rock,

It would be shattered presently before the furious shock.

By night a two days' journey off its rushing heard may be,

Like thunder, like a mighty wind, or like the roaring sea.

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But they, when, in that foreign land awhile they had remained, Said, 'Let us rise and seek some place by idols unprofaned, Where we, by sore affliction taught, at length may understand,

And keep the law we never kept while in our former land.'

This counsel taking with themselves, and caring not for foes,

And caring not for length of way, nor danger, they arose;

They rose together, and dryshod the great Euphrates passed,

And ever journeying northward reached this goodly land at last

A goodly land-with all good things their old land knew supplied, And all the plagues that vexed them there forever turned aside:

A land of streams that fear no drought, that never fail to flow,

Of wells not fed by scanty rains, but springing from below;

Where never upon sounding wing advance the locust swarm,

To hide the noon-day sun, and bring to every green thing harm; Where never from the desert blows the scorching fiery wind,

That breathes o'er fields of flowers, and leaves a wilderness behind:

No snake or scorpion, fox or dog, nor any beast unclean,

Nor aught that can bring harm to

man, through all the land is seen. A little child will feed the flocks in forests far away,

Not fearing man, nor evil beast, nor demon of noon-day.

And theirs the ancient Hebrew tongue,

the speech which angels love; And their true prayers in that are

made, and always heard aboveHeard, too, in doleful worlds below, where at their hours of prayer The anguish intermits awhile, the hopeless misery there.

And often when a man goes forth in lonely wilds to pray,

An angel then will meet him there, and-Grace be with thee!—say; No child before his parent's eyes is laid on funeral bier,

And none departs that has not reached

his happy hundredth year;

That has not at the least beheld his children's children rise

About his knees, to glad his heart and

cheer his failing eyes.

Nor is the life then torn away by rude and painful death,

But Gabriel with a gentle kiss draws out the flitting breath:

And when the soul arrives at last in Paradise, there wait

A crowd of ministering spirits there around its ruby gate;

They put the sordid grave-clothes off; in raiment pure and white They clothe him, glistening garments

spun from glorious clouds of light; They set two crowns upon his head, of purest gold is one,

The other diadem is wrought of pearl and precious stone;

And giving myrtle in his hand, they praise him and they say,

'Go in and eat thy bread henceforth with gladness every day.'

The day before a child is born, the

angel, that is given

To be his guide and guard through life, and lead him safe to heaven, In spirit takes him where the Blest with light divine are fed, Each sitting on his golden throne, his crown upon his head; 'And these,' he says, 'are they who

loved the law of the Most High, And such by His eternal grace come hither when they die:

Live thou and be an heir at length

through mercy of this grace, Since thou must for thy warning know there is another place.'

The angel carries then that soul at eventide to hell,

Where the ungodly evermore in painful prison dwell. 'These wretched once,

as thou wilt soon, the breath of life did draw, And therefore be thou wise betimes, and keep and love the law.' And if one see his brother sin, or hear him speaking vain

Or evil words, he leaves him not unIchidden to remain,

But in just anger says to him, 'My brother, wilt thou know

That sin upon our fathers brought
God's wrath and all their woe?
And thus doth each one each exhort,
in righteousness and fear,
And with true hearts the righteous
Lord to honor and revere.

At break of morning every day, the noblest of the land

In pomp and solemn state ride forth, a high exulting band,

As though to welcome and to greet and lead in triumph home Some Royal Stranger, looked for long.

who now at length should come. With some dejection on their brows at evening they return

Why comes He not? why tarries He until another morn?

But soon the shadow from their brows. the gloom has passed away; And that rejoicing troop goes forth upon the following day

As high of hope, in all their state, they issue forth again,

Sure that their high-raised hope will

not prove evermore in vain; That He will one day come, indeed, and with a mighty hand

Will lead them back to repossess their old, their glorious land.


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