Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
In the Name of Jesus of Nazareth
(Christmas, 1890)

GLOWS once more in the Russian sky, the blood-red dawn of a day of hate—
Shrills at the Throne of God, the cry of a people that faints ’neath its cross’s weight,
  Of a people hounded and done to death
  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Bells are ringing and organs peal; a thousand choirs their hymns upraise;        5
Peasant and pope at the altar kneel, and lone, in his guarded palace, prays
  The fear-torn despot; and thus he saith:
  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth:
“Father in Heaven, thy reign of love come, and Thy will on this earth be done,
Even as it is in Thy courts above. Forgive us, as we forgive everyone;        10
  And tempt us never, but keep from scath
  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth.”
Up to God’s throne with the organ’s voice and the chime of bells, goes the mob’s fierce shout:
Drowned are the hymns by the horrid noise of curses and groans and the thud of knout;
  For the tyrant’s prayer is a liar’s breath—        15
  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Christians, say, shall a savage Tsar blaspheme unchidden the name of Christ?
Yours, not mine, is this holy war, by your faith in him that was sacrificed—
  By your faith that your souls may be saved from death
  In the Name of Jesus of Nazareth!        20
One is the Father—his sons all men. These brothers of mine are your brothers, too;
Save our brothers, I charge you, then, in their brother’s name whom the Romans slew—
  In his name, who forgave with his dying breath—
  My brother, Jesus of Nazareth.

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