Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
Fin de Siècle
WHAT! do I hear the nations boast
  Of what the century’s shown,
The while on Corfu’s distant coast
  The persecuted groan?
The while in Russia’s spreading space        5
  No smallest place is found
Whereon a guiltless hunted race
  May find a resting ground?
The while e’en noblest charity
  But little can avail,        10
And bitter, widespread misery
  Relates a woful tale?
  The while some starve and have no bed
While others roll in gold,
  And socialism’s spirit dread        15
The problem would unfold?
  The while in Europe’s cultured lands
Vast armies still maintain,
  And men must learn from skilled commands
How men may best be slain?        20
  And to achieve this worldly lore
Must work more worthy cease,
  Constrained to practice art of war
In time of doubtful peace?
  The while so many a labor-strike        25
Speaks of injustice rife,
  On man and master’s side alike,
And leads to endless strife?
  The while so many wretched cry
In vain for Work? Oh, say!        30
  Is aught herein to glorify?
Or reason for dismay!

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