1 year ago

Poems by Isaac Rosenberg

The : MOSES A steel to

The : MOSES A steel to break his manacles : hard for us Moses has made him overseer. O, his slits sell to Imra. . . . Pry — pry. . . . For what ? . . . To Sh ! [Aisinoah is seen approaching:] thin-lipped abomination ! Zig-zagging haschish tours in a fine style It were delightful labour making bricks, Knowing they would kiss friendly with his head. Abixoah [ Who has been taking haschish ; and who has one obsession, hatred of Jews.] Dirt-draggled mongrels, circumcised slaves, You puddle with your lousy gibberish The holy air, Pharaoh's own tributary : Filthy manure for Pharaoh's flourishing, circumcise and make holy your tongues, I'll And stop one outlet to your profanation. [To the Old Hebrew.] IVe never seen one beg so for a blow ; Too soft am I to resist such entreaty. [Beats him.] Your howling holds the earnest energies You cheat from Pharaoh when you make his bricks. 69

; POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG An Aged Minstrel [Swigs frorn a distance^ Taut is the air and tied the trees, The leaves lie as on a hand ; God's unthinkable imagination Invents new tortures for nature. And when the air is soft and the leaves Feel free and push and tremble, Will they not remember and say How wonderful to have lived ? [The Old Hebrew is agitated and murmurs^] Messiah, Messiah. . . . That voice . . . O, he has beaten my sight out. ... I see Like a rain about a devouring fire. . . . [The Minstrel sings.'] Ye who best God awhile, O hear : your wealth Is but His cunning to see to make death more hard, Your iron sinews take more pain in breaking And he has made the market for your beauty Too poor to buy although you die to sell. 70