Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WANDERING JEW, by PIERRE JEAN DE BERANGER



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THE WANDERING JEW, by            
First Line: Place, christian, for the wretch you view
Last Line: For aye, for aye, for aye, for aye!
Subject(s): Wandering Jew


PLACE, Christian, for the wretch you view,
A cup of water by your door;
I am, I am the wandering Jew,
Whom whirlwinds drive for evermore.
I grow not old, though crushed with days,
My hope, the death of earth and skies--
Each eve doth expectation raise
In vain, for still the sun doth rise.
For aye! for aye!
Rolls the earth, whereon I fly,
For aye, for aye, for aye, for aye!

For eighteen hundred years, alas!
I tread the dust of Rome and Greece;
On thousand ruined States I pass,
Whirled by the wind that ne'er shall cease.
I've seen the noiseless germ unfold
Of good, I've seen calamities,
And to replace the world of old
I've seen two rise from out the seas.
For aye! for aye!
Rolls the earth, on which I fly,
For aye, for aye, for aye, for aye!

My heart is changed, but more the pain!
And now I love all things that die;
And some would bless me, but in vain,
The sudden whirlwind drives me by.
The beggar often asks an alms,
To give my chiefest pleasure is;
No time allowed to press the palms,
I stretch with eager haste to his.
For aye! for aye!
Rolls the earth, on which I fly,
For aye, for aye, for aye, for aye!

When lonely 'neath the flowering trees,
On meadow or by water aide,
I would my weary travel ease,
I hear the whirlwind fiercely chide:
Ah! why does angry heaven deny
One moment's rest beneath the shade?
By nought less than eternity
Will my long pilgrimage be stayed.
For aye! for aye!
Rolls the earth, on which I fly,
For aye, for aye, for aye, for aye!

How oft do children fair and bright
Wake thoughts of those I lost of yore!
But would I glad me with their sight,
I hear the whirlwind's muttered roar.
Old men would you my sorrow meet,
Could you my life's long limit have:
Those children whom I long to greet,
My weary feet shall tread their grave.
For aye! for aye!
Rolls the earth, on which I fly,
For aye, for aye, for aye, for aye!

Hope I those ruined walls to trace,
Which gave me birth long ages gone;
I strive to check my frantic pace--
But cries the whirlwind, 'Pass you on!'
Pass on! and speaks a voice of fear:
'Thou remain while all succumbs;
Not for thee thy fathers here
Keep a place among the tombs.'
For aye! for aye!
Rolls on the earth, on which I fly,
For aye, for aye, for aye, for aye!

I outraged with inhuman mock
The Man God, faint with all His pain;
But 'neath my feet the earth doth rock
Farewell, the whirlwind drives amain:
All you devoid of charity
My torment dread so fierce and strange:
Not trespass 'gainst the Deity,
For aye! for aye!
Rolls the earth, on which I fly,
For aye, for aye, for aye, for aye!





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