Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A CALL TO THE BUILDERS, by HELEN GRAY CONE



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A CALL TO THE BUILDERS, by            
First Line: Ye may not rear it now,-though some aver
Last Line: The light of lives with oil of knowledge fed!
Alternate Author Name(s): Green, Coroebus
Subject(s): Israel; Jerusalem; Jews; Synagogues; Judaism


I

YE may not rear it now,—though some aver
The eye of man shall see it where it stood,—
The glittering House of God, with cedar-wood
Well builded, and with olive and with fir,
Cunningly carved with wide-winged cherubim,
And flowers full-blown, and palm-trees fair and slim.
The ancient, unforgetting Eastern sky—
Blue as the sapphire in the breast-plate set,
That, watching waits, may not behold it yet;
Though there be breasts where longing will not die;
Though still Jerusalem's holy earth be shed,
Dear symbol, o'er the unalienated dead!

II

Yet unto you, O sons of Israel!
This year, this day, this hour, and in this land,
'Tis given to lend with joy the helping hand.
To rear a mighty Temple builded well,
Its blocks young souls, unhewn yet by the keen
Steel of the desecrating world, and clean.
Bring, bring, bright gold, and melt it in the fire.
So shall that faithful offering overspread
A spiritual altar, be ye sure;
So to the strength of Israel shall aspire
From lamps of many branches flamelets pure,
The light of lives with oil of knowledge fed!





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