Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
At Last
By Adelaide G. Waters
  THE RABBI LEVI let his thoughts be cast
Upon the current of remembered life,
And saw the faces of his child and wife,
So fair and mystical, it well might seem
As if he saw by moonlight in a dream        5
  What he had seen in sunlight in the past.
  Yet at remembered sin he starts to see
Remorse, most dreaded angel of the Lord,
Flash back the sunshine from his awful sword.
His wan cheek flushes like a dying brand;        10
“Take back, O Angel, in thy strong right hand
  This sweet but cruel gift of memory.”
  “Not so,” the angel answered; “thou shalt live,
Love and remember till thy work is done.”
And thus the Rabbi toiled, and did not shun        15
To look upon what he himself had wrought.
For years he freely learned and freely taught
  The wisdom that his own mistakes could give.
  The Rabbi Levi, when his head was white,
Heard a soft voice, “Henceforth no more for you        20
Shall memory come as flame, but cooling dew;
“Take thou the comfort of thy heart’s release,
For with thine own life thou shalt be at peace.”
  So, smiling, he passed out into the light.

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