Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
The Hebrew Minstrel’s Lament
FROM the hills of the West, as the sun’s setting beam
Cast his last ray of glory o’er Jordan’s lone stream,
While his fast-falling tears with its waters were blent,
Thus poured a poor minstrel his saddened lament:—
“Awake, harp of Judah, that slumbering hast hung        5
On the willows that weep where thy prophets have sung;
Once more wake for Judah thy wild notes of woe,
Ere the hand that now strikes thee lies mouldering and low.
“Ah, where are the choirs of the glad and the free
That woke the loud anthem responsive to thee,        10
When the daughters of Salem broke forth in the song,
While Tabor and Hermon its echoes prolong?
“And where are the mighty, who went forth in pride
To the slaughter of kings, with their ark at their side?
They sleep, lonely stream, with the sands of thy shore,        15
And the war-trumpet’s blast shall awake them no more.
“O Judah, a lone, scattered remnant remain,
To sigh for the graves of their fathers in vain,
And to turn toward thy land with a tear-brimming eye,
And a prayer that the advent of Shiloh be nigh.        20
“No beauty in Sharon, on Carmel no shade;
Our vineyards are wasted, our altars decayed;
And the heel of the heathen, insulting, has trod
On the bosoms that bled for their country and God.”

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