Songs of Many Seasons (1862-74)

Songs of Many Seasons (1862-74)

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Songs of Many Seasons (1862-74) by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Published:

1874

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Songs of Many Seasons (1862-74)

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Book Excerpt

re gathered Hebrews not a few,
Black-bearded, swarthy,--at their side
Dark, jewelled women, orient-eyed:
If scarce a Christian hopes for grace
Who crowds one in his narrow place,
What will the savage victim do
Whose ribs are kneaded by a Jew?

Next on my left a breathing form
Wedged up against me, close and warm;
The beak that crowned the bistred face
Betrayed the mould of Abraham's race,--
That coal-black hair, that smoke-brown hue,--
Ah, cursed, unbelieving Jew
I started, shuddering, to the right,
And squeezed--a second Israelite

Then woke the evil brood of rage
That slumber, tongueless, in their cage;
I stabbed in turn with silent oaths
The hook-nosed kite of carrion clothes,
The snaky usurer, him that crawls
And cheats beneath the golden balls,
Moses and Levi, all the horde,
Spawn of the race that slew its Lord.

Up came their murderous deeds of old,
The grisly story Chaucer told,
And many an ugly tale bes

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