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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Bertha Runkle (1879–1958)

The Song of the Sons of Esau

YE smooth-faced sons of Jacob, hug close your ingleside;

Guard well the market in its wealth, the palace in its pride!

Oh, blithe it is to wander, and the world is wide!

Hard straining at their cables, the captive vessels ride:

Haul up the prisoning anchor, swing out upon the tide!

Oh, grandly fills the canvas, and the sea is wide!

Mysterious spreads the forest, where strange shy creatures bide:

Within its dim remoteness, who knows what wonders hide?

Oh, softly step the wild things, and the jungle’s wide!

Across the stretching desert the tireless camels stride,

The scorching sun above them, the scorching sands beside.

Oh, steady swing the camels, and the plain is wide!

Through leagues on leagues of ice-fields, the time-old glaciers slide

Across the drifted valley, from drifted mountain-side.

Oh, keenly stings the Northwind, and the snow is wide!

We cannot help but wander, whatever fate betide;

We seek the vast far places, nor trail nor chart to guide.

The restlessness is on us, and the world is wide!

Oh, canny sons of Jacob, to fret and toiling tied,

We grudge you not the birthright for which your father lied!

We own the right of roaming, and the world is wide!

For you the pomp and power, prosperity and pride:

For us the happy wilderness, and not a care to chide.

To give us room to wander was the world made wide!