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The Jewish Martyrs

by Celia Moss

Founded on an incident copied from a German paper by the Jewish Chronicle, December 12, 1845.

The Autocrat stood proudly on the deck,
Surrounded by a servile crowd, who crouched
In trembling terror, 'neath his haughty glance.
There were two mid the throng, whose bearing bold
The tyrant marked, and bade them henceforth bear
A higher rank and station as their due.
But hark! some busy tongue has interposed;
What hears the tyrant? they are of that race,
Once favoured, now accursed; those wand'ring tribes,
Who, patient, suffering, have borne so long
Hate, desolation, misery, and toil;--
The Pariahs of the earth, who wait and watch,
Faithfully hoping for the promised time,
When Israel's scattered race, recalled,
Shall tread once more in joy the Holy Land,
And worship God again on Moriah's Mount.
Then came the mandate from the tyrant's lips:
"Change ye your faith," as if a word would change
The faith and hope founded on God's own words.
They shuddered, and their lips and cheeks grew pale;
Then whispered hurried words in a strange tongue,
The language of their sires, and then, in tone
Firm and resolved, they asked of the stern Czar
To show him a strange feat of seamanship;
The request was granted, and with clasped hands
They leaped into the Baltic, and the waves
Hid them for ever from mortal eyes;
Never to rise again till that dread day
When they and their oppressor shall be called
To answer at the judgment seat of God.

December 14, 1845