Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
The Rose of Sharon
By Harry Weiss
OH! I love to roam in fancy o’er the hills where Zion stood,
There to watch the daughter Zion weeping o’er her widowhood;
She was like the bride of beauty storied in the Song of Songs,
Who was queen of all the maidens, peer among the lily throngs.
Sharon’s lily, bride of beauty how I love to think of thee,        5
For thy lips were threads of crimson and thy neck of ivory,
For thine eyes seemed pools of water, clear as Heshbon’s melted dew,
And thy lips were dripping honey, so I love to think of you.
Oh! for all the wise king’s glory who was Israel’s paragon,
He was like a stately cedar, cedar of the Lebanon:        10
I can see his litter lifted by his expert men of war,
As it passed sweet odor drifted, myrrh and spikenard through its door.
Israel wedded to its glory, like a garden to its flowers,
When the north wind blew upon it, it was sweet with scented showers;
For the bride, the Rose of Sharon, was the land of Palestine,        15
There the fig tree grew and ripened, there the apple and the vine.
There sweet cinnamon and saffron and the incense bearing trees,
There the calamus and spices perfumed each passing breeze;
There grew myrrh and there the aloe, there the nard and henna bloom,
There to die on Zion’s bosom made of death the sweetest doom.        20
Oh! how I would love to see thee as thou wast when in thy prime,
When thy marble pavements echoed with the sandals keeping time
To the chorus of the Levites as they climbed the temple steep,
Singing psalms and hallelujahs, with their ranks a thousand deep.
Yet I would not weep, O daughter, for a better day must near,        25
And I would not back to Zion, for the prophets made this clear,
That the world shall be our garden where shall blossom Zion’s tree,
This, the “tree of life,” the Torah, which shall bloom eternally.
Then, away with clouds of ashes and the weeds of widowhood,
For the world’s a greater temple than the shrine where Zion stood;        30
And I would not back to Zion and I would not back again,
For our God has made our mission not for us but for all men.

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