Morris Rosenfeld

(1862-1923 / Poland)

The Moon-Prayer - Poem by Morris Rosenfeld

IN the azure aerial ocean the silver clouds
hover; stars twinkle, stars are merry, but the
moon is pale and silent.

The forest rests in deep silence ; the trees stand
hushed in meditation; not a breeze moves the
branches, earth sleeps, night is mute.

Only deep in the awful forest an old man stands
with his child : he is blessing the moon and prays
now for its light.

'O God, I pray to thee in tears, hear my
trembling voice ! Let its light be doubled, let it
shine as of yore.

'As thy Trusted one has written: the two
great and equal lights ! O God, how pale it has
become, look at its mortal face ! '

Oh, how his warm prayer resounds in the silence
of the deep forest ! How his feelings flow ! How
all is silent when he speaks !

His child looks on and wonders why above, in
the blue ocean, many stars are shining bright,
while some barely, barely twinkle ?

The clever child looks on high and, without
being interrupted, asks his father : ' Oh, tell me,
father, can we believe that which I have often
heard?

' They say the rich man's star sparkles, is always
bright, always large, while the poor man's star
grows dimmer, dimmer, and finally goes out?

' Are there, indeed, stars of destiny above ? Tell
me, yes or no? Do they stand for peace and
oppression, pleasure, misery and weeping ?

' Do you see over yonder the small star ? Is it
not ours ? Tell me ! For our life is heavy with
tears, and all our days are dark.

' And can it be that it will shine some day like
those others, in golden splendor ? Or will it en-
tirely go out, and will eternal night cover it? '

The old man wrinkles his high brow and thinks
of an answer for the child ; there come sobs, there
come tears, but words are late in coming. . . .


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010



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