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The Hebrew Exile

Suggested by Prescott's spirited description of Ferdinand and Isabella's expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

The following lines came to us without a name from Richmond. They are evidently the work of an unpractised writer; yet as a whole they possess considerable merit, and betoken much promise of excellence if the author perseveres with care in the path he (or she) has entered. Hence we give them a place in our periodical, although as a rule we would prefer printing nothing that has not the author's name attached.

The Hebrew wails. All hope is fled--
Fierce persecution drives him from his home;
The only land where he could rest his head
Rejects him, and he once more is to roam.
Oft has he wandered--now again
Must go--he has no home in Spain.

The vine and olive-yards he's learned to love,
Soft Andalusia's valleys with their gentle streams,
The heavens, which spread so calm his head above,
The earth, that with its richest products teems,
Must be deserted. He must go again,
The wretched Hebrew has no home in Spain.

His gold, his merchandise, his fields, his all,
Be left behind. To what land can he turn?
To this--he goes to torture, that--to slavish thrall,
To toil out life in pain, or at the stake to burn,
What matters it--he must not here remain,
The Hebrew has no longer home in Spain.

How quivers his stern lip--and grief too try for tears
Fevers his breast--his hopes of happiness gone!
Snatched from him thus the fruits of toilsome years,
Driven from the land where peace began to dawn;
Hush, now he weeps--oh! how could he refrain,
He knows he has no more a home in Spain.

And why must he depart!--why leave the land
Where his sires lie entombed? whose the decree
Which exiles him--whose the unsparing hand
Which gives him as alternative of death, to flee?--
They're Ferdinand's heralds who aloud proclaim
The Jew no longer has a home in Spain.

And now he hath departed. See the look of woe
He casts from yonder hill-top--drops one tear,
One tear o'er bygone years, and turns to go,
For ever leaves the land which was to him so dear.
Hebrew farewell! thou wilt not see again,
But long wilt recollect, thy home in Spain.

Richmond, April 21, 1843.