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.
 
Simeon Singer
By John Chapman
 
“OH, weep not for the dead.” Alas! how weak
  The solemn call to dry our tear-dimmed eyes,
Or stay the drops which aching hearts bespeak,
  While hopeless grief in fruitless effort tries
To scan the misty, drear and sombre space,        5
  Which parts us from the presence that we love,
And from those beaming eyes and saintly face
  And lips that taught the way to realms above.
 
Strong, manly mind to gentle heart allied,
  Fit partners of a noble soul that rose        10
To duty’s highest calls, though sorely tried,
  Scorning the urgent temptings of repose;
To him the heart of Childhood bounded forth,
  And feeble Age forgot the weight of years,
And Youth reflected back the genial mirth,        15
  Which turned to rippling joy their sight and tears.
 
Say when the bugle call of noble Cause,
  Drew forth the lightning flashes from his eye;
In God’s own work he knew not rest nor pause,
  And Faith and Mercy made his pulses fly,        20
Nor recked he, when a knightly lance he broke
  In chivalrous tilt for Progress and for Good,
Though in the clang of strife he felt the stroke,
  Yet calm and strong and nobly dumb he stood.
 
Too soon, alas! did Time with heavy hand        25
  Lay on his head his chaste prophetic snow,
And beckon to the far-off promised land,
  The goal to reach with weary steps and slow,
With brave and dauntless heart he nobly strode
  Along the path of duty, cheery, bright,        30
And uncomplaining bore his heavy load,
  Till summoned out of darkness into light.
 
Though Earth our gentle Mother in her arms
  Benignly folds thee in thy peaceful sleep,
And in her strong and all-embracing heart        35
  The mortal fabric of thy frame doth keep,
Freed from the chains that bound thy earthly love,
  Thy spirit joins the Choir of Saints above,
Whose joyous voices calling, welcome thee,
  “An Angel of the Lord of Hosts is he.”        40
 
 
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