1 year ago

Poems by Isaac Rosenberg

! Forget MOSES Scene I.

! Forget MOSES Scene I. : Outside a college in Thebes. Egyptian students pass by. Moses alone in meditation. [Enter Messenger.] Messenge"r [Handing papyrus.'] Pharaoh's desires. Moses [Reads.'] To our beloved son, greeting. Add to our thoughts of you, if possible to add, but a little, and you are more than old heroes—not to bemean your genius, who might cry " Was that ,1 all We pile barriers everywhere : we give you idiots for tools, tree stumps for swords, skin sacks for souls. The sixteenth pyramid remains to be built : we give you the last draft of slaves. Move ! not the edict. Pharaoh. Moses [To Messenger.] What is the edict ? 53

— POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG Messenger The royal paunch of Pharaoh dangled worriedly, Not knowing where the wrong : viands once giantlike Came to him thin and thinner — what rats gnawed ? Honor, the swarm of slaves ! The satraps swore Their wives' bones hurt them when they lay abed, That before were soft and plump : the people howled They'd boil the slaves three days to get their fat, Ending the famine. A haggard council held Decrees the two hind molars, those two staunchest Busy labourers in the belly's service, to be drawn From out each slave's greased mouth, which soon From incapacity will lose the habit Of eating. Moses Well, should their bones stick out to find the air, I'll make a use of them for pleasantness Droll demonstrations of anatomy. Messenger And when you've ended find 'twas one on sharks. [Moses signs to Messenger to go. Edit Messenger.] 54

Redcliffe Voice Issue 6 Summer 2018