Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
Ben Karshook’s Wisdom
By Robert Browning
“WOULD a man ’scape the rod?”
  Rabbi Ben Karshook saith,
“See that he turn to God
  The day before his death,”
“Ay, could a man inquire        5
  When it shall come!” I say.
The Rabbi’s eye shoots fire—
  “Then let him turn today!”
Quoth a young Sadducee;
  “Reader of many rolls,        10
Is it so certain we
  Have, as they tell us, souls?”
“Son, there is no reply!”
  The Rabbi bit his beard:
Certain, a soul have I—        15
  We may have none,” he sneered.
Thus Karshook, the Hiram’s-Hammer,
  The Right-hand Temple-column,
Taught babes in grace their grammar,
  And struck the simple, solemn.        20

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