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A SONG OF LOVE 27I 

Wherefore wilt thou forget us, Lord, for aye? 

Mercy we crave! 
Lord, we hope in Thee alway; 



Our King will save! 



Nina Davis. 



A SONG OF LOVE^ 
From the Hebrew of Babbi Isaac ben Reuben Alfasi. 

My noble love! 

dove of wondrous grace ! 

What aileth thee that thou dost weep in woel 
Messiah cometh unto thee : then go, 

Fly to thy resting-place. 
I am thy Saviour, who will ransom thee ; 
Thy hope from ancient day: 
Know that in truth I say, 
I, thy Kedeemer, I will set thee free^. 
My noble love ! 

My Mighty Love! 
Where is thy troth of yore, 
The vision of the seers of ages gone, 
Proclaiming to the lone, the outcast one, 

Whose glory is no more, 
That she shall yet be sought, again shall shine, 
A very great delight? 
Thine is redemption's right. 
Yea, and the power of sole possession thine ^, 
My Mighty Love! 

My noble love! 

1 found delight in thee, 

O fair one! when I saw thee in thy youth. 
And passing o'er thee with my bond of truth, 
Betrothed thee unto me. 

^ A dialogue between God and Israel. " Kuth iii. 12. ^ Jer. xxxii. 8. 

T 2, 



272 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

Yet will I gather thee to mine abode, 

The dwelling of my rest, 

My habitation blest, 
Which I have builded and on thee bestowed, 
My noble love ! 

My Mighty Love! 
The faithful envoy haste. 
Thy knowledge he shall spread, and strength instil 
To keep the word that bade me do thy will, 

And said to me, "Be chaste:" 
And did ordain, "Jf thou wilt not obey, 
To exile shalt thou go." 
It hath, alas ! been so ; 
That doom foretold hath come to pass this day^, 
My Mighty Love ! 

My noble love! 
Tried in the furnace blaze 
Of dire affliction 2; thou with shackled feet, 
Shalt yet adorn thy form with joy complete. 

Gird thee thy song of praise. 
The crown of beauty, diadem divine, 
It seemeth good to me 
To give it unto thee^, 
That sanctified perfection may be thine, 
My noble love! 

My Mighty Love! 
Nought of my fame is left. 
Though erst I dwelt in regal robes of grace. 
My sons lie slain, the scions of my race, 

Of kin I stand bereft. 
Behold me wrapt in darkness deep and fell. 
Sunk in the loathsome pit, 
By ray of light unlit. 
The great stone lieth heavy o'er the welP, 
My Mighty Love! 

^ Gen. xli. 13. * Isa. xlyiii. 10. ° Gen. xxix. 19. * Gen. xxix. 2. 



A SONG OF LOVE 273 

My noble love ! 
My Mend, come forth to me: 
Yea, from the grasp of foes be thou relieved, 
From them, who full of guile, have thee deceived. 

That speak false words to thee ; 
Because thou wilt not strangers' paths pursue. 
And didst not go astray 
Along their erring way, 
Nor seekedst thou new loves^, but still art true. 
My noble love! 

My Mighty Love! 
Stern bondage holdeth me, 
And grievous woe ; though vainly evermore 
The foe allureth and doth press me sore. 

With keen words, ceaselessly. 
To turn aside from thee, the fount of bliss, 
Yea, to forsake thy Name, 
Transgressing to my shame 
The word revealed. My God ! have I done this ? 
My Mighty Love! 

My noble love ! 
I by myself have sworn 
To summon thee, my servant, unto me; 
And shall not kings bring presents unto thee^ 

Thy glory to adorn? 
A witness have I made my holy one. 
For nations to behold. 
For peoples manifold, 
For lo ! of Jesse have I seen a son. 
My noble love ! 

Nina Davis. 

^ Ruth iii. 10. * Ps. Ixviii. 29.