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.
 
A Call to the Builders
By Helen Gray Cone
 
I
YE may not rear it now,—though some aver
  The eye of man shall see it where it stood,—
  The glittering House of God, with cedar-wood
Well builded, and with olive and with fir,
  Cunningly carved with wide-winged cherubim,        5
  And flowers full-blown, and palm-trees fair and slim.
    The ancient, unforgetting Eastern sky—
  Blue as the sapphire in the breast-plate set,
  That, watching waits, may not behold it yet;
    Though there be breasts where longing will not die;        10
Though still Jerusalem’s holy earth be shed,
Dear symbol, o’er the unalienated dead!
 
II
Yet unto you, O sons of Israel!
  This year, this day, this hour, and in this land,
  ’Tis given to lend with joy the helping hand.        15
To rear a mighty Temple builded well,
  Its blocks young souls, unhewn yet by the keen
  Steel of the desecrating world, and clean.
Bring, bring, bright gold, and melt it in the fire.
    So shall that faithful offering overspread        20
A spiritual altar, be ye sure;
So to the strength of Israel shall aspire
  From lamps of many branches flamelets pure,
    The light of lives with oil of knowledge fed!
 
 
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