Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
The Spirit of Hebraism
By From the Hebrew of Harry Wolfsohn (Trans. H. B. Ehrmann)
THEY tell me my spirit’s departed,
  That my body of soul is bereft;
And that barren ’midst strangers I wander
  And that no inspiration is left
But my vanishing fires ancestral        5
  Where the last faint flashes are seen,
And that like to the poor and the stranger,
  What is left by the world I glean.
They tell me, not knowing my Spirit
  Like an ember that never grows cold,        10
Tho’ smouldering in its own ashes
  Yet murmurs and grows as of old.
Oh, my Spirit awaits but my seeking
  To burst like a spring from the soil,
And if once it be free from confinement        15
  It will vest in all fruit of my toil.
It will live in the colors on canvas,
  And survive in the hewn marble plan,
And in song and in music and story
  To the last generation of man.        20
It will speak from the lips of new Prophets,
  And their truth from the heights will be hurled,
From a model city of Justice
  Where its flag will blazon unfurled.

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