Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LAY OF THE LEVITE, by WILLIAM EDMONSTOUNE AYTOUN

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THE LAY OF THE LEVITE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There is a sound that's dear to me
Last Line: Of 'clo!--old clo!'
Alternate Author Name(s): Bon Gaultier (with Theodore Martin)
Subject(s): Jews; Judaism

THERE is a sound that's dear to me,
It haunts me in my sleep;
I wake, and, if I hear it not,
I cannot choose but weep.
Above the roaring of the wind,
Above the river's flow,
Methinks I hear the mystic cry
Of 'Clo!--Old Clo!'

The exile's song, it thrills among
The dwellings of the free,
Its sound is strange to English ears,
But 'tis not strange to me;
For it hath shook the tented field
In ages long ago,
And hosts have quailed before the cry
Of 'Clo!--Old Clo!'

O lose it not! forsake it not!
And let no time efface
The memory of that solemn sound,
The watchword of our race;
For not by dark and eagle eye
The Hebrew shall you know,
So well as by the plaintive cry
Of 'Clo!--Old Clo!'

Even now, perchance, by Jordan's banks,
Or Sidon's sunny walls,
Where, dial-like, to portion time,
The palm-tree's shadow falls,
The pilgrims, wending on their way,
Will linger as they go,
And listen to the distant cry
Of 'Clo!--Old Clo!'

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