Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN INVOCATION, by ISIDORE G. ASCHER

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AN INVOCATION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh, harp of judah! Wake again!
Last Line: And lend its sweetness to my dreams!
Subject(s): Freedom; Jews; Judah (bible); Liberty; Judaism

OH, harp of Judah! wake again!
Can no one deftly touch thy strings
To scatter far the sacred strain
Which from divinest patience springs!
Have all the strife-sown troublous years
No joys for happy song to cast?
Can love distil no hope from tears,
Or steal no beauty from the past?

Has music lost its spell and power
To summon hopes that only rest?
Endowed with truths, our lasting dower,
That mock the ages' wear and test;
Can no heart-stirring melody
Imbued with light and touched with fire,
Flow from a nation proud and free
Whose past must urge them to aspire?

Reproach, an ignominious sea,
Can follow in our wake no more;
The poisoned waves of calumny
Are washed away from Freedom's shore.
The justice of a nobler age
Has reached and raised our scattered race;
Our history shows a fairer page,
Our future wears a brighter face.

The rooted weeds of narrow thought
Which closely cling, or idly spread,
Which ignorance has sown and wrought,
Are crushed and buried with the dead.
A loftier sense of heavenly things,
A wider view of human life
Have fashioned tolerance: which brings
Its own repose to cast off strife.

Beyond man's vain imaginings,
Is Israel's faith that never dies,
The boon of slaves—the pride of Kings—
Its meanings make the nations wise,
And thro' the mists of ages gone,
Its God-stamped visions still appear
As in the Bible's earliest dawn,
Supremely true, divinely clear!

And who asserts that Judah's claim
To any chosen land is o'er?
When all the earth contains her fame
That spreads and widens evermore;
The truths that sanctify her creed
Shall scatter hopes where'er they shine,
Until all men shall feel the need
Of her own unity divine.

So wake, my harp, my fingers press
Thy rust-worn strings, while fancy longs
To dower with melodiousness,
The burden of unuttered songs;
My faltering touch may reach in vain
The music of my sacred themes,
Still Truth may charm the feeble strain
And lend its sweetness to my dreams!

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