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Joseph Friedlander, comp. The Standard Book of Jewish Verse. 1917.

By Attributed to Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Brotherly Love

THE RABBI JUDAH, so the scribes relate,

Sat with his brethren once in a warm debate

About those things which each considered best

To bring to earth immunity and rest.

Then said the one requested to begin:

“Rest comes from wealth, if there be peace within.”

The second said: “It springs from honest fame,

And having all men magnify your name.”

The third said: “Rest is being truly great,

Coupled with power to rule some mighty state.”

The fourth said: “Such a rest as we presage

Reach men in only the extremest age,

When wealth and power and fame unite to go

To children—and unto their children flow.”

The fifth said: “All these various things are vain;

Rest comes to those who all the law maintain.”

Then said the Rabbi Judah, grave and old,

The tallest of the group with him enrolled:

“You all speak wisely, but no rest is deep

To him who the traditions fails to keep.”

Now spoke a fairhaired boy up from the grass—

A boy of twelve, who heard these words repass,

And dropped the lilies from his slender hands;

“Nay, father; none among you understands.

True rest he only finds who evermore

Looks not behind, but to the things before;

Who, scorning fame and power and home and pelf,

Loveth his brother as he loves himself.”