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.
 
Dying—Shall Man Live Again?
By Albert Frank Hoffmann
 
IN dying, will the parting breath
Renew our life,—is there no death?
Go ask it of the winter’s snow,
Or of the winds that fiercely blow.
Or ask it of the moaning seas,        5
Or of the naked, barren trees;
Or of dead leaves that withered lie,
Where autumn saw them fall and die.
 
Ask of the stars that nightly gleam—
Or ask it of the frozen stream        10
That in a shroud, all glorious, white,
Lies buried through the wintry night.
This question of another birth,
Go ask it of old mother earth;
Ask it of her when she receives,        15
The glory of the newer leaves.
 
Ask it of joyous birds that sing,
Or ask it of the new born spring;
Or of the mists in valleys low,
That sleep—where swollen rivers flow.        20
Or ask the thunder-toned roar
Of the old ocean breaking o’er
The barriers of some rock-bound shore—
This question of forevermore.
 
And yet the answer, strong, and sure,        25
That conquers every human fear,
And wipes away each bitter tear—
Is found in Him whose heart is pure;
This is the answer that He gives,
“Who dies to self, forever lives.”        30
 
 
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