Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
The Kiss of God
By John White Chadwick
WHEN the great leader’s task was done,
  He stood on Pisgah’s height,
And saw, far off, the westering sun
  Drop down into the night;
Saw, too, the land in which, alas!        5
  He might not hope to dwell
Spread fairly out; and then—for so
  Talmudic legends tell—.
Jehovah touched him and he slept;
  And smooth the mountain sod        10
Was levelled o’er him and ’twas writ
  “Died by the kiss of God.”
The kiss of God! We talk of death
  In many learned ways,—
We know so much,—which of them all        15
  So simple in its praise
As this which from the oldest days
  Has treasured been apart,
To comfort in this heel of time
  The mourner’s aching heart?        20
We walk our bright or desert road
  And, when we reach the end,
Bends o’er us with gentle face
  The Universal Friend.
Upon our lips his own are laid:        25
  We do not strive or cry.
The kiss of God! Upon that kiss
  It is not hard to die.

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