Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
“Above the grief of Israel soars a voice”
By Ida Goldsmith Morris
(“God’s finger touched him and he slept!”)

ABOVE the grief of Israel soars a voice
  Rebuking him who weeps;
Bidding the righteous for his sake rejoice,
  Who, clothed with honor, sleeps.
The victor, bearing home unsullied spoil,        5
  The leader, whom God led,
Sleeps ’neath the laurels of completed toil,
  That crowns his hoary head.
As Moses, through the wilderness of old,
  His people led aright,        10
So he, from worn-out creeds and forms grown cold,
  Led on to warmth and light.
And as old shackles fell from Israel’s feet,
  And broader visions rose,
He rested not, until life’s task complete        15
  Had earned Death’s sweet repose.
The tired hands upon his breast are crossed,
  The noble heart is stilled!
Yet think not that God’s promise shall be lost
  Which he so long fulfilled.        20
His mantle shall descend, in God’s own time,
  Unto some worthy one
Who portions Israel heritage sublime
  From sire to son.
Our leader sleeps; his spirit through the age        25
  Shall live uncramped and free;
While angels wrote his name upon the page
  Of immortality!

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