Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
Ode to the Statue of Moses
The Masterpiece of Michael Angelo

            STATUE! whose giant limbs
            Old Buanorotti planned,
And Genius carved with meditative hand,
            Thy dazzling radiance dims
The best and brightest boast of sculpture’s favorite land.        5
            What dignity adorns
            That beard’s prodigious sweep!
That forehead, awful with mysterious horns
            And cogitation deep,
Of some uncommon mind the rapt beholder warns.        10
            In that proud semblance, well
            My soul can recognize
The prophet fresh from converse with the skies;
            Nor is it hard to tell
The liberator’s name, the guide of Israel.        15
            Well might the deep respond
            Obedient to that voice,
When on the Red Sea shore he waved his wand
            And bade the tribes rejoice,
Saved from the yawning gulf and the Egyptian’s bond!        20
            Fools! in the wilderness
            Ye raised a calf of gold,
Had ye then worshipped what I now behold
            Your crime had been far less—
For ye had bent the knee to one of godlike mould!        25

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