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All rights on poems in this volume are vested in the authors thereof or in their legal representatives.
Publisher of “A HEBREW ANTHOLOGY.”
Acknowledgment is respectfully made to the following publishers for the privilege of embodying herein the poems mentioned:
D. APPLETON & Co., New York.-William Cullen Bryant: Complete Poetical Works—“No Man Knoweth His Sepulchre," "Rizpah.”
BLACKWOOD & Sons, Cambridge, England. John Stuart Blackie: A Song of Heroes—“Abraham,” “Moses,” “David.”
DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & Co., New York.—Edwin Markham: Lincoln and other Poems—“Dreyfus" and "The Jews."
FUNK & WAGNALLS Co., New York.—Richard Realf :—Poems—“Wanted: Joshua”; Thomas Ewing Jr.: "Jonathan.”
HENRY HOLT & Co., New York.-Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (translated by Ellen Frothingham): “Nathan the Wise."
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN & Co., Boston, Mass.—Thomas Bailey Aldrich: Poems -“Judith,” “The Jew's Gift”; John Vance Cheney: Poems—“The Death of Adam,” “Is there any Word from the Lord?” “The Poets of Old Israel”; Helen Gray Cone: Poems—“A Call to the Builders,” “Songs of a Semite," "Merchant of Venice,” “Under no Skies but Ours"; William Byron Forbush: "Ecclesiastes in the Metre of Omar"; Richard Watson Gilder: Poems—“Emma Lazarus," "To Emma Lazarus,” “A Memory of Rubinstein,” “A Tragedy of To-Day"; John Hay: Poems—"Israel”; Oliver Wendell Holmes: Poems—“At the Pantomime"; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Poetical Works—“The Chamber over the Gate," “Azrael,” “The Legend of Rabbi Ben Levi," "Sandalphon," “The Jewish Cemetery at Newport,” “Judas Maccabaeus”; John Godfrey Saxe: Poetical Works—“Ben Ammi and the Fairies,” “The Four Misfortunes," "The Two Friends,” “King Solomon and the Bees”; William Wetmore Story: Poems—“A Jewish Rabbi in Rome’; Bayard Taylor: Poems—“Shekh
Ahnaf's Letter from Bagdad,” "Aurum Potabile”; Edith Matilda Thomas : “The Quiet Pilgrim”; John Greenleaf Whittier: Poetical Works—“The Wife of Manoah to her Husband,” “Ezekiel,” “The Rock in El-Ghor,” “The Cities of the Plain,” “King Solomon and the Ants," abbi Ishmael,” “The Two Rabbins."
THE J. B. LIPPINCOTT Co., Philadelphia.-Amélie Rives (The Princess Troubetzkoy): “Herod and Mariamne.”
LITTLE, BROWN & Co., Boston, Mass.—Edward Everett Hale: Poems"Hagar Departed,” “Eli and Samuel,” “Jehovah Liveth”; Christiana Georgina Rossetti: Poems—“Eve,” “Christian and Jew.”
LONGMANS, GREEN & Co., London.—Robert Needham Cust (published anonymously): Poems of Many Places—“From the Persian,” “Hiram's Tomb,” "Scene in Lebanon," "A Day in Palestine."
CHARLES E. MERRILL & Co.—John Ruskin: Poems—“The Destruction of Pharaoh."
MOFFAT, YARD & Co., New York.—George Sylvester Viereck: Nineveh and Other Poems—“Heine."
G. P. PUTNAM's Sons, New York.-Edward Doyle: Moody Moments—“The Nubian, Greek and Jew."
FLEMING H. REVELL Co., New York.-Horatius Bonar: "Is he not Fair?" “Mount Horeb,” “Mount Sinai,” “Psalm 24,” “The Chief among Ten Thousand,” “Jerusalem's Dayspring," "Zion Awake!” “Zion's Morning."
The publisher desires to record his acknowledgments to MR. WILFRED CAMPBELL, of Ottawa, Canada, for kind permission to reprint the poems, "Peniel” and “The Hebrew Father's Prayer"; to MR. CHARLES WILLIAM CAYZER, for his drama, “David and Bathshua” (London, 1911); originally printed pseudonymously, London, 1903; now reprinted from the author's "By the Way of the Gate"; to MR. THOMAS EWING, JR., of New York, for the revised second edition of his drama, “Jonathan” (first ed. N. Y., 1902), specially prepared for this ANTHOLOGY; and to AMELIE RIVES (THE PRINCESS PIERRE TROUBETZKOY), for permission to include her drama, “Herod and Mariamne," which has been thoroughly revised for this ANTHOLOGY by the Author.
Whenever possible to ascertain the holders of copyrights, due credit has been given. If, by inadvertence, the Publisher has failed to indicate his indebtedness, in any instance, or instances, he earnestly trusts that the omission be ascribed to accident, not design.
Thanks are due to the Misses Effie Cowen and Stella B. Fernbach, of New York, and to Doctor Julian Morgenstern, of Cincinnati, for courtesies extended to the Editor, while this volume was passing through the press.
The Bible has been translated into four hundred dialects. Its diction has influenced the human race no less vitally than its message. Notwithstanding national conflicts and religious disagreements, the Word of God has unified the ideals and aspirations of mankind, and has brought ever nearer the realization of a spiritual brotherhood.
Wherever interpreted in the vernacular of the Occident, a splendid creative literature sprang into life. Witness the Protestant Reformation, following in the wake of Luther's German Version, and the flourishing of English literature coincident with the Authorized Version of King James.
Indeed, it is significant that every forward movement in modern times has been intimately associated with a renaissance of the Hebrew Scriptures. The political agitations of Wyclif and Tyndale were largely the outcome of their ardent Biblical studies. Cromwell and his Latin Secretary, Milton, found their motive-power and steadfastness in the stern counsels of the Old Covenant. A little later, the Pilgrim Fathers and the early Governors of New England wisely molded legislation and public polity in accord with the fundamental verities of Holy Writ. Our Republican form of government is, in its essence and spirit, founded upon the ideals and institutions of the Ancient Hebrew Commonwealth.
A modern British statesman has declared that “the Bible is the source of England's greatness”. This is not a mere flourish of rhetoric, but a pregnant truth. English literature, from the earliest Saxon chroniclers to the present day, bears out this statement, at least so far as the spiritual and intellectual life of the nation is concerned:
Caedmon's chief work is the noble epic of the “Fall of Man." It is strongly Hebraic in character, and is touched here and there with the fancy and lore of the Rabbis. A large element in preElizabethan letters is similarly distinctive. Shakespeare drew generously on the Old Testament for his most picturesque periods, and younger disciples, from that golden era to the Victorian age, derived sustenance and inspiration from the English Bible, which has become a supreme criterion of style, because it has preserved all the beauty, the loftiness of diction and the moral ruggedness of the Hebrew original. Milton's great epics, notably “Samson Agonistes”, Byron's “Hebrew Melodies”, and Browning's “Saul” are landmarks of our language, because they are patterned after the Authorized Version--recognized at once as standard and prototype. And if the Quatrains of the Persian pagan Omar Khayyam have such a hold on the imagination of English-speaking people, it is because Fitzgerald's phrasing has an almost Scriptural force, and his message harks back to the cynic poet of the Bible, Koheleth.
This ANTHOLOGY designs to give a fairly complete survey of the subject indicated, in broad outline, in the preceding paragraphs. It attempts to show to what extent the form and spirit of Hebrew tradition dominate English poetry.
While there exist collections of a somewhat similar character, comprising sacred and devotional verse, no single volume contains such a range and variety of material as has been brought together in this ANTHOLOGY. It is, moreover, unique in plan and scope, inasmuch as it admits the work exclusively of Christian authors. There are a few isolated extracts from Oriental writers, and translations from foreign poets are occasionally included the translators being Jews.
The Editor has no specific plea to advance in support of his selections. He has endeavored to keep his subject well in view, confining his attention to such compositions as are founded upon Hebrew and Rabbinic tradition. As a natural commentary on the whole body of material, inspired by the patriarchs, prophets, bards and sages of Israel, he has added several Tributes and Elegies, in verse, some of a personal character, reflecting upon the "People of the Book”, which may not prove unwelcome to the general reader. He has refrained from using many pieces, showing a christological trend or bias, convinced that theology and dogma are out of their environment in poetry. For this same reason, he has not drawn upon the Miracle Plays and Morality Dramas of the earlier centuries, which form a conspicuous group by themselves and deserve to be brought out separately.
Aside from their value as pure literature, the selections in this volume have an interpretive significance. They are largely exegetical