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.
 
Israel’s Mission
By Eve Davieson
 
I HAD a mighty vision from the skies,
  A glorious vision of the years to come;
I saw a noble brotherhood arise
  And life was love, and every heart was one.
 
Bound by the golden chains that none can break        5
  Each unto each,
The morning stars together sang “awake!”
  And God did teach.
 
Ay e’en the God that Israel loved so well,
  Who taught of old upon the holy mount,        10
Whose glowing words made Moses’ bosom swell,
  E’en as the waters of a living fount.
 
And then I cried: The prophet’s words were true.
  Time’s deathless page
Hath seen at last the promise old yet new:        15
  The Golden Age!
 
A great light like a blessing o’er them fell,
  A song of triumph burst upon the air,
The prophet’s words were far too weak to tell
  Half of the glory that was pictured there.        20
 
All to the living God of Jacob bowed
  At set of sun,
A million voices chanted clear and loud—
  “His name is One!”
 
But ah! the vision was too pure and bright        25
  To linger on this fleeting earth of ours,
It faded like the glittering stars of night,
  Or like the fragrance of the summer flowers.
 
And yet a meaning mystically deep,
  Strange and intense,        30
Thrilled through that vision with a wildly sweet
  Prophetic sense!
 
O Israel from thy sleep arise, and dare
  To take the part God gave His chosen few!
Then rise! oh, nobly rise! all ye who bear        35
  The sacred though oft-hated name of Jew!
 
Thine is the work! then falter not—press on!
  With heart and soul,
Press onward with a purpose true and strong
  To reach the goal!        40
 
Thy task once done, no more the Earth shall weep,
  But wear in peace, Love’s sacred starry crown;
The nations shall their swords to ploughshares beat,
  And the fierce lion with the lamb lie down.
 
While God shall smile on those who dared to lead        45
  The sons of men,
And they who scorned thee in thy time of need,
  Shall bless thee then!
 
 
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