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

By Sabine Baring-Gould

The Universal Mother

(Pirke Rabbi Eliezar, ii.)

WHEN by the hand of God man was created,

He took the dust of the earth from every quarter—

From east and west, and from the north and south—

That wheresoever man might wander forth,

He should be still at home; and, when a-dying,

On some far distant western shore, and seeking

A shelter on the bosom of the Mother,

The earth might not refuse to clasp him saying,

“My offspring art thou not, O roving Eastern.”

Wherever now the foot of Man shall bear him,

Wherever by the final call o’ertaken,

He is no stranger reckoned, or an outcast,

But hears exclaim the Universal Mother,

“Come, child of mine, and slumber in my bosom.”