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.
 
“Only a Jew”
By P. H.
 
PATIENT in sorrow, and never repining,
  Bending submissively low to the blast;
Conscious that Heaven is never designing
  That sickness or sorrow forever should last,
Striving mid poverty, earnest and active,        5
  Nerving his efforts, industrious and true,
Spurning all wrong, howsoever attractive,
  Humble and pious, though “Only a Jew.”
 
Prosperity crowning his efforts and striving,
  See, Fortune, propitious, his industry bless;        10
To comfort and competence, haply arriving,
  Still earnest and active, his energies press.
Gladly relieving all sorrow and anguish,
  While tears sympathetic his features bedew,
Where sad ones in poverty and wretchedness languish,        15
  God’s angel on earth—though “Only a Jew.”
 
Affectionate heart, throbs his bosom, e’er swelling
  For dear ones, who claim his attachment and love;
An earthly Elysium, his Eden-like dwelling
  (A foretaste on earth of bright heaven above.)        20
Obedient his child life, now his children adore him;
  His wife, with affection, does life’s joys renew,
The bright rays of happiness ever shine o’er him,
  As father, as husband, though “Only a Jew.”
 
Progressive in Science, in Art and in Learning;        25
  Dispensing their benefits, near and afar—
Till grateful, his worth now his country discerning
  He graces in honor the Senate—the Bar—
Pleading in eloquence ’gainst every oppression;
  He strives for the “Right,” and does baseness pursue,        30
Yet “damned with faint praise,” he hears envy’s expression,
  After all, you must own, that he’s “Only a Jew.”
 
His tongue free from evil, his lips from deceiving,
  E’en to those who may spurn him his heart remains dumb;
While sadly their bootless malignity grieving,        35
  He knows that a time of Redemption will come.
When shining again in Empyrean splendor,
  The glories of Israel will beam forth anew,
Thus blessing in Life, does his blessed death render
  A pure soul to God, though he’s “Only a Jew.”        40
 
 
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