Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
The Slaughter of the Jews
By A. J. Waterhouse
FOOLS who kill for the lust of blood, fiends of the slaughter pen,
Who wreak red malice on women and babes and gray and defenceless men;
Murderers, thugs, assassins, who, e’en in religion’s name,
Dare the work of the ghouls to do, and crawl in your bestial shame—
This in the name of religion. Why, fools who are less than clod,        5
From the Jew you borrowed your altar, from the Jew you filched your God.
His was the great Jehovah whom your churchly rites attest,
And his was the wondrous Bible that shone on your darkened West.
      His David still is singing,
        Your souls oppressed to thrill,        10
      And Sinai’s voice is ringing:
        “Thou shalt not, shalt not kill!”
Murderers! thugs! assassins! sodden and ingrate crew!
Most of the best ye now disdain was learned of the hated Jew!
In temples of desecration his psalms ye have mouthed today;        15
Then turned from the hollow praises to slaughter and kill and slay;
Ye have mourned with his Jeremiah, as great was your need to do,
But if mourning fostered brute alone, small was the gain to you.
“Why should ye be stricken any more?” Isaiah moaneth still,
But all that ye learn from the broken words is kill—and kill—and kill!        20
And Rachel still is mourning that her children are no more,
While your hearts are mad with malice and your hands are red with gore.
      Still rolls the awful thunder
        O’er Sinai’s darkened hill,
      While still—oh, deed of wonder!—        25
        Ye kill—and kill—and kill!
Fools who are less than brutish, tyranny’s pestilent crew,
A beast may spring on his master—and ye do murder the Jew.
When your forbears sat in their frozen dens and mumbled their rotten bones
From Palestine echoed northward the great Jehovah’s tones.        30
The God of the Jew had spoken, and your ancestor heard and knew,
And his first dim knowledge of truth and right he learned of the hated Jew.
Aye, more! From Nazareth came one day the Man who is thine and mine,
And he set in the soul of the brutish man the germ of a thought divine,
And the germ took root in the soul of man, and ever it bloomed and grew,        35
And the Christ whom your crimsoned hands do flout was a Jew and the son of a Jew,
      His heart for the sad world bleeding,
        He loved and forgave us still;
      And yet, that lesson unheeding,
        Ye kill—and kill—and kill!        40
Fools who are less than brutish, tyranny’s pestilent crew,
All that the world holds dearest is slaughtered in him—the Jew.

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