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Poems by Isaac Rosenberg

— MOSES Half beasts

— 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

Abinoah — : POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG They'd make a bonfire of themselves to be Mouthed in the squares, broad in the public eye^J And whose backs break, whose lives are mauled, after It all falls Hat? His tender airs chill me As thoughts of sleep to a man tiptoed night-long Roped round his neck, for sleep means death to him. Oh, he is kind to us ! Your safe teeth chatter when they hear a step He left them yours because his cunning way Would brag the wrong against his humane act By Pharaoh ; so gain more favour than he lost. Youxc; Hebrew Help him not then, and push your safety away : I for my part will be his backward eye, His hands when they are shut. Ah ! ! Like a bad smell from the soul of Moses dipt In the mire of lust he hangs round him ; And if his slit-like eyes could tear right out The pleasure Moses on his daughter had, She'd be as virgin as ere she came nestling Into that fierce unmanageable blood, Flying from her loathed father. O, that slave Has hammered from the anvil of her beauty 68

Redcliffe Voice Issue 6 Summer 2018