Page images
[blocks in formation]

(From "The Devil's Progress.")

A HEBREW knelt, in the dying light,-
His eye was dim and cold;

The hairs on his brow were silver white
And his blood was thin and old.
He lifted his look to his latest sun,
For he knew that his pilgrimage was

And as he saw God's shadow there
His spirit poured itself in prayer!

"I come unto Death's second birth
Beneath a stranger air,

A pilgrim on a dull, cold earth,
As all my fathers were!

And men have stamped me with a


I feel it is not Thine;
Thy mercy, like yon sun, was made
On me, as them, to shine;
And, therefore, dare I lift mine eye
Through that, to Thee, before I die!

"In this great temple, built by Thee,
Whose altars are divine,
Beneath yon lamp, that ceaselessly
Lights up Thine own true shrine,
Oh! take my latest sacrifice,-

Look down, and make this sod
Holy as that where, long ago,
The Hebrew met his God.

"I have not caused the widow's tears,
Nor dimmed the orphan's eye;

I have not stained the virgin's years,
Nor mocked the mourner's cry.
The songs of Zion, in mine ear,
Have ever been most sweet,
And always when I felt Thee near,
My 'shoes' were 'off my feet.'

"I have known Thee, in the whirlwind,
I have known Thee, on the hill,
I have loved Thee, in the voice of birds,
Or the music of the rill.

I dreamt Thee in the shadow,

I saw Thee in the light,
I blessed Thee in the radiant day
And worshiped in the night!
All beauty, while it spoke of Thee,
Still made my soul rejoice,
And my spirit bowed within itself,
To hear Thy 'still, small voice.'
I have not felt myself a thing,

Far from Thy presence driven,
By flaming sword or waving wing,
Shut out from Thee and heaven.

"Must I the whirlwind reap, because
My fathers sowed the storm?
Or shrink, because another sinned,
Beneath Thy red, right arm?
Oh! much of this we dimly scan,
And much is all unknown;

But I will not take my curse from man,
I turn to Thee, alone!
Oh! bid my fainting spirit live,

And what is dark reveal,
And what is evil, oh! forgive,
And what is broken heal,
And cleanse my nature, from above,
In the deep Jordan of Thy love!

"I know not if the Christian's heaven
Shall be the same as mine;

I only ask to be forgiven,

And taken home to Thine.
I weary on a far, dim strand,
Whose mansions are as tombs,
And long to find the fatherland
Where there are many homes.
Oh! grant, of all yon starry thrones,
Some dim and distant star,

Where Judah's lost and scattered sons
May love Thee, from afar.
Where all earth's myriad harps shall


In choral praise and prayer,

Shall Zion's harp, of old, so sweet,

Alone be wanting there?
Yet place me in Thy lowest seat
Though I, as now, be there

The Christian's scorn, the Christian's jest;

But let me see and hear,

From some dim mansion in the sky,
Thy bright ones and their melody."
The sun goes down, with sudden gleam,
And-beautiful as a lovely dream
And silently as air-

The vision of a dark-eyed girl,
With long and raven hair,
Glides in-as guardian spirits glide—
And lo! is kneeling by his side;
As if her sudden presence there
Were sent in answer to his prayer.
(Oh! say they not that angels tread
Around the good man's dying bed?)
His child!-his sweet


And as he gazed on her,


He knew his God was reconciled, And this the messenger,


As sure as God had hung, on high,
The promise-bow before his eye!-
Earth's purest hope thus o'er him flung,
To point his heavenward faith,
And life's most holy feeling strung
To sing him into death;

And, on his daughter's stainless breast,
The dying Hebrew sought his rest!

The Devil turned uneasily round, For he knew that the place was holy ground!

But, ere he passed, he saw a Turk

Spit on the bearded Jew;

And a Christian cursed those who could not eat pork;

Quoth the Devil, "These worthies may do my work;

For one lost, here are two!

Turk or Jew, or their Christian brother, I seldom lose one but I gain another!" THOMAS KEBBLE HERVEY.


"Mourn for the living, and not for the dead."-HEBREW DIRGE.

I SAW an infant, marble cold,

Borne from the pillowing breast, And in the shroud's embracing fold Laid down to dreamless rest:

And, moved with bitterness, I sighed,

Not for the babe that slept, But for the mother at its side, Whose soul in anguish wept.

They bare a coffin to its place-
I asked them who was there?
And they replied, "a form of grace,
The fairest of the fair."

But for that blest one do ye moan,
Whose angel-wing is spread?
No, for the lover pale and lone-
His heart is with the dead.

I wandered to a new-made grave,
And there a matron lay-

The love of Him who died to save,
Had been her spirit's stay:

Yet sobs burst forth of torturing pain-
Wail ye for her who died?
No-for that timid, infant train
Who roam without a guide.

I murmur not for those who die,
Who rise to glory's sphere,

I deem the tenants of the sky
Need not our mortal tear.
Our woe seems arrogant and vain,
Perchance it moves their scorn,
As if the slave, beneath his chain,
Deplored the princely born.

We live to meet a thousand foes,

We shrink with bleeding breast-
Why shall we weakly mourn for those
Who dwell in perfect rest?
Bound, for a few sad fleeting years,
A thorn-clad path to tread,
Oh! for the living spare those tears
Ye lavish on the dead.



My harp is on the willow-tree,
Else would I sing, O love, to thee
A song of long-ago-
Perchance the song that Miriam sung
Ere yet Judea's heart was wrung

By centuries of woe.

I ate my crust in tears to-day,
As scourged I went upon my way-
And yet my darling smiled;

Aye, beating at my breast, he laughed— My anguish curdled not the draught— 'Twas sweet with love, my child!

The shadow of the centuries lies
Deep in thy dark and mournful eyes;
But, hush! and close them now,
And in the dreams that thou shalt dream
The light of other days shall seem
To glorify thy brow!

Our harp is on the willow-tree-
I have no song to sing to thee,
As shadows round us roll;

But, hush and sleep, and thou shalt hear

Jehovah's voice that speaks to cheer
Judea's fainting soul!

EUGENE FIELD (1850-1895).


For the Wandering Jew.

THOUGH the torrents from their fountains

Roar down many a craggy steep, Yet they find among the mountains Resting-places calm and deep.

Clouds that love through air to hasten,
Ere the storm its fury stills,
Helmet-like themselves will fasten

On the heads of towering hills.

What, if through the frozen centre

Of the Alps the chamois bound, Yet he has a home to enter

In some nook of chosen ground.

If on windy days the raven

Gambol like a dancing skiff, Not the less she loves her haven In the bosom of the cliff.

Though the sea-horse in the ocean

Own no dear domestic cave,
Yet he slumbers-by the motion
Rocked of many a gentle wave.

The fleet ostrich, till day closes
Vagrant over desert sands,
Brooding on her eggs reposes

When chill night that care demands.

Day and night my toils redouble,
Never nearer to the goal;
Night and day, I feel the trouble
Of the wanderer in my soul.


A fragment.

Он, Judith! had our lot been cast
In that remote and simple time
When, shepherd swains, thy fathers

From dreary wilds and deserts vast
To Judah's happy clime,-

My song upon the mountain rocks,
Had echoed oft thy rural charms
And I had fed thy father's flocks;
O Judith of the raven locks!

To win thee to my arms.

Our tent, beside the murmur calm

Of Jordan's grassy-vested shore, Had sought the shadow of the palm, And blest with Gilead's holy balm

Our hospitable door.

At falling night, or ruby dawn,

Or yellow moonlight's welcome cool, With health and gladness we had drawn,

From silver fountains on the lawn,

Our pitcher brimming full.

How sweet to us at sober hours

The bird of Salem would have sung. In orange or in almond bowers,Fresh with the bloom of many flowers, Like thee forever young!

But ah, my love! thy father's land-
It sheds no more a spicy bloom,
Nor fills with fruit the reaper's hand;
But wide and silent wilds expand,
A desert and a tomb!

Yet by the good and golden hours That dawn'd those rosy fields among,

By Zion's palm-encircled towers,-
By Salem's far-forsaken bowers,
And long-forgotten song-

THOMAS CAMPBELL (1777-1844).

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

ONCE I heard a Jew and Moslem arguing with "Yes!" and "No!"

"May I," yells the child of Moses, "trust in Islam if it's so."

"If it is not," screams the other, "I will turn a Jew to-night."

Then I thought, "How every nation takes for granted it is right! Should the Lord destroy all knowledge in each people, creed and school, Not a man in this dilemma e'er would own himself a fool!"

SA'ADI (1184-1291). Translated by J. F. AND L. R. CLARK,

[blocks in formation]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »