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Poems by Isaac Rosenberg

— MOSES Old Hebrew I

— MOSES Old Hebrew I am crazed with whips. ... I hear a Messiah. Young Hebrew The venerable man will question this. Abinoah [Overhearing.] Ill beat you more, and he'll question The scratchiness of your whining ; or, may be, Thence ma} be born deep argument 7 With reasons from philosophy, That this blow, taking longer, yet was but one, Or perhaps two ; or that you felt this one Arguing from the difference in your whine Exactly, or not, like the other. Minstrel You labour hard to give pain. Abinoah [Still beating.] My pain is . . . not ... to labour so. Minstrel What is this greybeard worth to you now, All his dried-up blood crumbled to dust? 71

! ; ! ! POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG [Motions Abinoah to desist, but not in time to prevent the old man fainting into the hands of the Young Hebrew.] A BTNOAfl Harper, are you envious of the old fool ? Go ! Hug the rat who stole your last crumbs, And gnawed the hole in your life which made time wonder "Who it was saved labour for him the next score of years. We allowed them life for their labour— they haggled. Food they must have, and (god of laughter!) even ease But mud and lice and Jews are very busy Breeding plagues in ease. \_Thc Minstrel pulls his beard and robe off.~] Abinoah Moses Moses You drunken rascal Abinoah A drunken rascal ! Isis, hear the Prince Drunken with duty, and he calls me rascal. 72

Redcliffe Voice Issue 6 Summer 2018