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

By William Dearness

Sunshine After Storm

A Tale from the Talmud

THE RABBI viewed on Zion’s hill

A fox the holy ruins treading,

Expanding griefs their bosoms fill,

Who suppliant hands to heaven are spreading.

With dancing eyes and ringing laugh,

Akiba marks the fox descending;

Exulting, waves aloft his staff;

His ill-timed mirth his friends offending.

How canst thou smile? See God’s own house,

His holy place wild beasts infesting.

Such would indignant pity rouse,

If grace be still within thee resting.

Why weep? quoth he, when near fulfilled:

Her doom of trouble we’re beholding.

Join you with what another skilled

In heavenly purpose, is unfolding.

Comes next, the later, happier seer

Who Salem’s glory sees in vision,

Of men and dames whose hundredth year

Abounds in peace and rich provision.

Jeshurun toils through grief to joy.

Whom God would choose, He first must chasten,

Let Israel faith and hope employ

His higher destiny to hasten.