Wednesday, June 10, 2020

A Zionist, philo-semitic poem from 1843: “Lines to a Fair Jewess”


I came across this poem in an American Jewish newspaper  published in 1850, but I found that it was written by a sub-editor of the London Globe, Edward Raleigh Moran, in 1843.



Lines to a Fair Jewess

Yes, daughter of Judah, thy God is supreme
Even what thou art now is but part of His scheme.
The world may revile thee, I look on thy face,
And there thy great ancestry easily trace.
Thrones have perished, and nations have vanished away,
Whilst thou still art the same as in Abraham's day,
His cherished, his fated,—yes, both still thou art,
Like thy David, for ever one after his heart,

Aye, daughter of Judah, all else we see fade,
New faiths will decay as the old have decayed
But still I can trace, as I gaze on thee now,
Sarah's beauty and faith, each alive on thy brow.
We vainly endeavour to change thy belief,—
We torture, torment thee, through woe and through grief,
But still thou art true to the creed that was given
To Moses, thy teacher, directly from Heaven.

Even we who declares that our God has come down
Already, and borne the death-giving crown,
And who say that from thee and thy people He met
The martyr's sole glory, unknowingly, yet,
While we look full of hope to his throne in the sky,
Tempting and proscribing thee, we cannot deny.
Whatever He was we derive but from you,
For He whom we worship was child of a Jew.

I see thee quite scattered, and fallen the crown,
God-given, that formerly was all thine own,
Like the stones of the temple, alas! now downcast
No arch to declare the bright splendor long past:
Yet still when His thunders we hear in the sky,
We look out in expectance, but not with thine eye,
For thine eye as it longs for the opening day,
•Sees hope in each glimpse of Jehovah's bright ray.

Then, daughter of Judah, be't our's to implore
For thee and thy nation the God we adore
That thy strength may return, that thy hope may come back
As the day-beam succeeds to the stormiest rack—
That thou may'st in Israel thy home find once more.
Thy temptings, thy trials, thy miseries o'er:
And as eve's latest glimpse is so often its best.
Be brightest of all the calm eve of thy rest.