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    CAPT. SMITH AND POCAHONTAS.   Table of Contents     JUDITH.

Bibb, Eloise
Poems

- THE WANDERING JEW.


THE WANDERING JEW.

I.


"Toil! toil! toil!"
What curse is this sent from the hand of
God,
That man must work till placed beneath the
sod,
And see no recompense in future years,
Save anxious thoughts and bitter, fruitless
tears;
What fight is this from morn till close of day,
To keep starvation's meagre face away.
Unjust proceeding, man's the slave of
man,
And this, they say, is a divine command.

"A cobbler's son I saw when quite a boy,
The mean privations that the soul annoy;
And childhood's days, the happiest time
of life,
Was blighted by this same, disgraceful
strife,
Just so it was with manhood's happy prime,
And so 'twill be until I've done with time;
And toil, and toil, and toil, thus, this, I
must,
Until this tired frame returns to dust."
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78

The voice has ceased, the cobbler's hand is
still,
The sight he sees has overpowered the will,
And hushed the vain complaints that mar
his life,
And fill his brain with discord, woe and
strife;
He sees afar a crowd of human Fiends,
No law nor order'mongst the group remains;
They all seem mad with mutiny and rage,
Like lions lately freed from cell or cage.

Within that crowd a tearful, bloods-stained
face,
Where torture's marks had blotted beauty's
trace,
Looks up with loving, patient, sorrowing
eyes,
And seems to find its comfort in the skies;
A crown of thorns is on the lofty brow,
And from his wounds the blood is trickling
now;
He bears a heavy cross upon his back,
The prints of blood are borne alone
the track.
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79

The King of heaven and earth with scourges
rent,
Endures with patience. woes His Father
sent,
And sick with pain, insulted by their jeers,
The cobbler's bench he sees, and quickly
nears.
"O friend,"he cries, and seeks the cobbler's
chair,
"One moment let me rest and linger there;
'Twill ease my fainting frame from half
its pain,
Refuse me not, I will not long remain."

"Go on, go on." the cobbler cries with
wrath,
"No friend have ever cheered my dreary
path:
And I shall never help nor give relief
To you, a hypocrite and groveling thief.
This world for the has been a dreary place,
I have no wish my steps here to retrace;
"Go on, go on, I' ve known to rest below,
I'll give you none, so hasten now and go."

"And thou, too, friend," the Saviour sadly
cries,
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With mournful face and melancholy eyes,
"Shall now 'go on' until the end of time,
And rest at Gabriel's Solemn trumpet's
chime."
He moves away and bears his cross again,
And stifles now his moans and sighs of pain;
On Calvary's hill with eyes turned to the
skies,
The God of love for mankind slowly dies.

II.


"'Go on, go on," I hear those words again,
The Saviour spoke them,--Ah! with in-
finite pain;
A century has passed and more since then,
And still I walk along the streets of men,
Through Europe, Asia, Africa, I roam,
But dare not linger long at any home;
I watch the years go by,--the old, and
new,
But I ne'er change, I'm still the Wandering
Jew.

"Oh God, I beg you, take the sentence back,
Remorse, like adders, soul and brain doth
rack;
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81
Forgive a culprit's bitter words to thee,
And set this lonely, wandering spirit free.
Have not these years of woe and dark despair,
With none beside my agony to share,
Atoned for that black sin of long ago?
Cut short, I beg you, now this time of woe.

" 'Go on, go on'until the end of time,
And rest at Gabriel's solemn trumpet's
chime."
That awful voice, those words it seems to
say,
O King! 'tis true, no rest till judgment
day.
O God! turn back thy universe I pray,
And I'll erase my blackest crime away;
Alas! those bitter words I spoke to you,
Have sealed my fate, I'm still the Wandering
Jew.
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    CAPT. SMITH AND POCAHONTAS.   Table of Contents     JUDITH.