Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
By Isidore Myers
GOD got me ere His works began,
The first in all creation’s plan.
From everlasting was my birth,
Yea, from the first, before the earth.
Ere there were deeps I was begot        5
When water-laden springs were not.
I was brought forth before, as yet
The hills and mountains had been set;
Ere He the land and wastes had made,
Ere He the world’s first dust had laid.        10
When He prepared the heavens new,
And on the face a circle drew
Of the vast deep, there I was, too:
When skies above He firm did frame;
When the deep’s fountains strong became;        15
When to the sea its bounds He set,
So that its borders ne’er should get
Beyond its borders, and when He
Marked out what should earth’s bases be;
I as His foster-child did stay        20
With Him, delighting Him each day,
And in His presence e’er did play,
Exulting at His world in sight;
The sons of men were my delight.
Now children, hearken unto me;        25
Who keep my ways they blest shall be.
Instruction hear ye and be wise,
Yea, no instruction e’er despise.
Happy the man that heeds my say,
That watches at my gates each day,        30
That at my door-posts waits alway.
For he that findeth me finds Life;
He’ll from the Lord get favour rife;
But he that misses me, the goal,
Does violence to his own soul;        35
Yea, Death is courted by all those
That hate me ever as my foes.

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