Page 151 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 42

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AM1SHAI-MAISELS / STE1NHARDT AND BIALIK
1 4 3
Into its courtyard
wind thy way;
There with thine own hand touch, and with the eyes o f thine head,
Behold on tree, on stone, on fence, on mural clay,
The splattered blood and dried brains of the dead . . .
T here will thy feet
in feathers
sink, and stumble
On wreckage
doubly wrecked,
scroll heaped on manuscript. . .
The thousand golden arrows of the sun, will flash . . .
For
God called up the slaughter and the spring together,
The slayer slew,
the blossom burst, and
it was sunny
weather!
Then wilt thou
flee to a yard, observe its mound.
Upon the mound lie two
. . .
and
both were flung
Unto the self-same heap where swine seek dung . . .
Unto the attic mount,
upon thy feet and hands;
Behold the shadow of death
among the shadows stands.
There in the dismal corner . . . multitudinous eyes will look
Upon thee from the sombre silence
The spirits o f the martyrs are these souls,
Gathered together. .
. beneath these rafters and in these igno­
ble holes . . .
Their silence whimpers, and
it is their eyes which cry
Wherefore, O Lord, and why?
. . .
And thou, too, son o f man, close now the gate behind thee;
Be closed in darkness now, now thine that charnel space;
So tarrying there thou wilt be one with pain and anguish . . .
Then on the day of thine own desolation a refuge will it seem,
Lying in thee like a curse,
. . .
the haunting o f an evil dream . . .
Thou wouldst proclaim it, speak it out, —
But thy lips shall not find its utterence . . .
And thou wilt come
. . .
into the synagogue . . .
To hear the cry o f their agony, Their weeping everlasting . . .
Wherefore their cries imploring, their supplicating d in?
Speak to them and bid them rage!
Let them against me raise the outraged hand, —
Let them demand . . . the retribution fo r the shamed
O f all the centuries and every age!
Let fists be flung like stone
Against the heavens and the heavenly Throne! . . .
What is thy business here, O son of man ?
Rise, to the desert flee!
The cup o f affliction thither bear with thee!