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.
 
Rescue of Moses
Anonymous
 
IN Judah’s halls the harp is hushed,
  Her voice is but the voice of pain;
The heathen heel her helms has crushed,
  Her spirit wears the heathen chain.
From the dark prison-house she cried,        5
  “How long, O Lord, Thy sword has slept!
Oh, quell the oppressor in his pride!”
  Still Pharoah ruled, and Israel wept.
 
The morning breezes freshly blow,
  The waves in golden sunlight quiver;        10
The Hebrew’s daughter wanders slow
  Beside the mighty idol river.
A babe within her bosom lay;
  And must she plunge him in the deep?
She raised her eyes to heaven to pray;        15
  She turned them down to earth to weep.
 
She knelt beside the rushing tide,
  Mid rushes dark and flow’rets wild;
Beneath the plane-tree’s shadow wide,
  The weeping mother placed her child.        20
“Peace be around thee, though thy bed
  A mother’s breast no more may be;
Yet He that shields the lily’s head,
  Deserted babe, will watch o’er thee!”
 
She’s gone! that mourning mother! gone.        25
  List to the sound of dancing feet,
And lightly bounding, one by one,
  A lovely train the timbrels beat.
’Tis she of Egypt: Pharoah’s daughter,
  That with her maidens come to lave        30
Her form of beauty in the water,
  And light with beauty’s glance the wave.
 
The monarch’s daughter saw and wept;
  (How lovely falls compassion’s tear!)
The babe that there in quiet slept,        35
  Blest in unconsciousness of fear.
’Twas hers to pity and to aid
  The infant chief, the infant sage;
Undying fame the deed repaid,
  Recorded upon heaven’s own page.        40
 
Years pass away, the land is free!
  Daughter of Zion! mourn no more!
The oppressor’s hand is weak on thee,
  Captivity’s dark reign is o’er.
Thy chains are burst; thy bonds are riven;        45
  On! like a river strong and wide:
A captain is to Judah given—
  The babe that slept by Nile’s broad tide.
 
 
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