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Poems by Isaac Rosenberg

—: POEMS BY ISAAC

—: POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG Vague rumours of our world, to his mind An unpleasant miasma. Young Hkbkkw Is not Miriam his sister, Jochabed his mother ? In the womb he looked round and saw From furthermost stretches our wrong From the palaces and schools Our pain has pierced dead generations Back to his blood's thin source. As we lie chained by Egyptian men He lay in nets of their women, And now rejoices he has broken their meshes. O ! His desires are fleets of treasure He has squandered, in treacherous seas. Sailing mistrust to find frank ports ; He fears our fear and tampers mildly For our assent to let him save us. When he walks amid our toil With some master-mason His tense brows, critical Of the loose enginery, Hint famed devices flat, his rod Scratching new schemes on the sand : But read hard the scrawled lines there Limned turrets and darkness, chinks of light, 66

— MOSES Half beasts snorting into the light, A phantasmagoria, wild escapade To our hearts' clue ; just a daring plan To the honest mason. What swathed meanings peer From his work-a-day council, washed to and from Your understanding till you doubt That a word was said But a terror wakes and forces your eyes Into his covertly, to search his searching ; Startled to life, starved hopes slink out Cowering, incredulous. Old Hebrew \_To himself.] His youth is Mattered at Moses' kind speech to him. \To the Young Hebrew.] I am broken and grey, have seen much in my time, And all this gay grotesque of childish man Long passed ; half blind, half deaf, I only grumble I am not blind or deaf enough for peace. /JJiave seen splendid young fools cheat themselves Into a prophet's frenzy ; I have seen So many crazed shadows puffed away, And conscious cheats with such an ache for fame 67