American Poetry 1922/Hebrews

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HEBREWS

I come of a mighty race. . . . I come of a very mighty race. . . .
Adam was a mighty man, and Noah a captain of the moving waters,
Moses was a stern and splendid king, yea, so was Moses. . . .
Give me more songs like David's to shake my throat to the pit of the belly,
And let me roll in the Isaiah thunder. . . .

Ho! the mightiest of our young men was born under a star in the midwinter. . . .
His name is written on the sun and it is frosted on the moon. . . .
Earth breathes him like an eternal spring: he is a second sky over the Earth.

Mighty race! mighty race!—my flesh, my flesh
Is a cup of song,
Is a well in Asia. . . .
I go about with a dark heart where the Ages sit in a divine thunder. . . .
My blood is cymbal-clashed and the anklets of the dancers tinkle there. . . .
Harp and psaltery, harp and psaltery make drunk my spirit. . . .


I am of the terrible people, I am of the strange Hebrews. . . .
Amongst the swarms fixed like the rooted stars, my folk is a streaming Comet,
Comet of the Asian tiger-darkness,
The Wanderer of Eternity, the eternal Wandering Jew. . . .

Ho! we have turned against the mightiest of our young men
And in that denial we have taken on the Christ,
And the two thieves beside the Christ,
And the Magdalen at the feet of the Christ,
And the Judas with thirty silver pieces selling the Christ,—
And our twenty centuries in Europe have the shape of a Cross
On which we have hung in disaster and glory. . . .

Mighty race! mighty race!—my flesh, my flesh
Is a cup of song,
Is a well in Asia.



This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1931, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.