Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
During the Crusades (“They seized our holy congregations”)
By Ezra Ben Tanhum
THEY seized our holy congregations,
And sent among them fire, murder!
The heroes all, Thy true adorers,
Together met in convocation.
They spared no more their offspring,        5
Thy faith alone they honored.
The great and small, together
With mothers’ babes, were slaughtered
Like offerings at the festive season.
They shouted out, “Remove your horrors,        10
Not them, but death we freely follow!”
And from the homes resounded wailing;
And in the streets the sword made havoc.
“O give me death!” the son entreated;
This filled the father’s heart with gladness,        15
As though he went to joyous nuptials.
The loving hand had hushed all sorrows,
And from distress it brought deliverance;
It led the friend to blissful slumber.

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