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

Emma Lazarus (1849–1887)

The World’s Justice

IF the sudden tidings came

That on some far, foreign coast,

Buried ages long from fame,

Had been found a remnant lost

Of that hoary race who dwelt

By the golden Nile divine,

Spake the Pharaohs’ tongue, and knelt

At the moon-crowned Isis’s shrine,—

How at reverend Egypt’s feet

Pilgrims from all lands would meet!

If the sudden news were known,

That anigh the desert place

Where once blossomed Babylon,

Scions of a mighty race

Still survived, of giant build,—

Huntsmen, warriors, priest and sage,

Whose ancestral fame had filled,

Trumpet-tongued, the earlier age,—

How at old Assyria’s feet

Pilgrims from all lands would meet!

Yet when Egypt’s self was young,

And Assyria’s bloom unworn,

Ere the mythic Homer sung,

Ere the gods of Greece were born,

Lived the nation of one God,

Priests of freedom, sons of Shem,

Never quelled by yoke or rod,

Founders of Jerusalem;—

Is there one abides to-day?

Seeker of dead cities, say!

Answer, now as then, they are:

Scattered broadcast o’er the lands,

Knit in spirit nigh and far,

With indissoluble bands.

Half the world adores their God,

They the living law proclaim,

And their guerdon is—the rod,

Stripes and scourgings, death and shame:

Still on Israel’s head forlorn,

Every nation heaps its scorn.