« PreviousContinue »
More sad than these, his darkly mournful lot Whose hand the clasp of friendship hath forgot;
But deadliest price of all the soul must pay, Which for some lure of earthly power or pride Hath cast its heritage of heaven aside,
And for such gaud hath given itself away.
A BEETHOVEN SYMPHONY.
The glorious movement heaven-aspiring flies,
Through the rapt silence of the listening hall;
Fades from our sight the stern encircling wall And dreamland opens to our dreaming eyes. Forgotten hopes and lost ambitions rise
To shake the soul with happy longing. All
Triumphant fancies hold the heart in thrall; The future brightens under smiling skies. And thon, O Master! On whose mighty brow The waves of thine own harmonies do break,
High rising through the golden orbéd spheres Like billows round some stately vessel's prow,Do they no echo to thine ears awake,
That reaches where thy listening spirit hears?
ISS EMMA LAZARUS was born in New
York, N. Y., July 22, 1849, and died there November 19, 1887. She was a member of a jewish family of prominence. She was noted in childhood for her quickness and intelligence. She received a liberal education under private tutors, and her attainments included Hebrew, Greek, Latin and modern languages. She read widely on religious, philosophical and scientific subjects, and was a profound thinker. Her literary bent displayed itself in poetry at an early age. In 1867 she published her volume, “Poems and Translations," and at once attracted attention by the remarkable character of her work. In 1871 she published “Admetus, and Other Poems," and the volume drew friendly notice from critics on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1874 she published her first important prose work, “Alide, an Episode of Goethe's Life.” She contributed original poems and translations from Heinrich Heine's works to Scribner's Magazine. In 1881 she published her translations, “Poems and Ballads of Heine,” and in 1882 her “Songs of a Semite." She wrote for the Century a number of striking essays on Jewish topics, among them “Was the Earl of Beaconsfield a Representative Jew?” and “Russian Christianity versus Modern Judaism." Her work includes critical articles on Salvini, Emerson and others. In the winter of 1882, when many Russian Jews were flocking to New York City to escape Russian persecution, Miss Lazarus published in the American Hebrew a series of articles solving the question of occupation for the incomers. Her plan involved industrial and technical education, and the project was carried out on her plan. In 1882 she wrote her “In Exile,” “The Crowing of the Red Cock” and “The Banner of the Jew.” In 1887 she published her last original work, a series of prose poems of remarkable beauty. Among her many translations are poems from the mediæval Jewish authors, Judah Halivy, Ibu Gabriel and Moses Ben Esra. Some of these translations have been incorporated in the rituals of many American Hebrew synagogues. She was woman of marked poetic talent, and many of her verses are aflame with genius and sublime fervor.
H. A. V.
When, in the first wild throes of grief,
THE CROWING OF THE RED COCK,
Some tombs are altars! On them fame
The beacon-lights of sacrifice, Like stars fair set in skies of fame
To light the way for seeking eyes; Beside them lie the conqueror's bays,
The patriot's sword, the poet's penLike kindling stars to set ablaze
The fire divine in hearts of men.
Across the Eastern sky has glowed
The flicker of a blood-red dawn, Once more the clarion cock has crowed,
Once more the sword of Christ is drawn.