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.
 
Into the Tomb of Ages Past
By Penina Moïse
 
INTO the tomb of ages past
Another year hath now been cast;
Shall time, unheeded, take its flight,
Nor leave one ray of moral light,
That no man’s pilgrimage may shine,        5
And lead his soul to spheres divine?
 
Ah, which of us, if self-reviewed,
Can boast unfailing rectitude?
Who can declare his wayward will
More prone to righteous deeds than ill?        10
Or, in his retrospect of life,
No traces find of passion’s strife?
 
A “still small voice,” as time departs,
Bids us inspect our secret hearts,
Whose hidden depths too oft contain        15
Some spot, which suffered to remain,
Will (slight at first) by sad neglect
The hue of vice at last reflect.
 
With firm resolve your bosoms nerve
The God of Truth alone to serve,        20
Speech, thought, and act to regulate,
By what His perfect laws dictate;
Nor from His sanctuary stray,
By worldly idols lured away.
 
Peace to the house of Israel!        25
May joy within it ever dwell!
May sorrow on the opening year,
Forgetting its accustomed tear,
With smiles again fond kindred meet,
With hopes revived the festal greet!        30
 
 
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