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Allied Jewish Campaign Provides Inspiration for Poem by Edwin Markham

October 6, 1930
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The voice of Edwin Markham, outstanding American poet, is the latest to join in the endorsement of the $6,000,000 Allied Jewish Campaign, which is being conducted in behalf of the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Palestine. In his newest published poem, which appears in The Jewish Tribune, the author of “The Man with the Hoe” calls upon American Jews to help their starving co-religionists in Eastern Europe and to support the work of rebuilding the Jewish Homeland in the Holy Land.

The Allied Jewish Campaign was launched early in March under the auspices of America’s leading Jewish citizens. Among the national and local chairmen and honorary chairmen are: Felix M. Warburg, Nathan Straus, Lieut. Gov. Herbert H. Lehman, Arthur Lehman, Louis Lipsky, David Bressler, Morris Roghenberg, Paul Baerwald, Isidore D. Morrison, Judge Otto Rosalsky, Judge William M. Lewis, James N. Rosenberg and scores of other notables.

The poem runs as follows:



Out of Eurasia comes a cry

From hungering people like to die

All roads in Europe hear their moans;

All roads in Asia know their groans.

Old fathers totter as they creep;

Old mothers sob out of their sleep.

And little children wonder why

They are so early doomed to die.

Yet ages ago this people spread

For starved humanity a bread.

The bread of the spirit from their hands

Went out to feed all hungry lands

It was Heaven’s gift, it was earth’s joy,

A bread that time cannot destroy.

Now for the bread of the body they cry,

Who heard the thunders of Sinai.

Now they hunger and cry aloud.

This people once so nobly proud.

So this is the hour to stretch our hands

To those who cry from other lands.

This is the hour when we have chance

To join Love’s high divine romance,

To harken to their mighty need,

And turn religion into deed.

O comrades, only as we give

Will our own souls stand up and live.

This cry for bread, this dying wail

God’s wrath will reach us if we fail!


Yes, there is tragic need for bread,

But there’s still greater need ahead.

All Jews were once in brother-bands:

Now they are scattered in all lands;

And many are homesick as they roam,

And long to find their ancient home.

A Voice is crying to women and men:

“Back to the Homeland once again

Back to old roads the Prophets trod,

Who felt the heartbeats of their God

Who cried to earth their mighty themes

And gave to men their noblest dreams.”

Yes, back to the Homeland is the cry

Now growing louder in every sky.

The footsteps left in Palestine

Have made her deathless and divine.

Out of her mystery of old

The thunders of the Prophets rolled

The rage of Amos against the wrongs,

The harp of David’s tender songs,

The wail of Job’s impassioned cry

Against the injustice of the sky,

Isaiah’s thunder against the lust

Of cities doomed to death and dust.

In his high reprimands were heard

The trumpets of the Judgment Word.

These memories will draw Israel back

From the world’s poverty and rack

Back to the land where once the Law

Was wrapped in mystery and awe

Back to their Palestine, where men

Must build their greatness once again

The land where they must mold a State,

A shelter from appalling fate.

Free men must rise at last to build

The Brotherhood that God has willed.


Hark, comrades, out of their far-off sky

Comes on the wind their hungry cry.

Sometimes we hear, too, as we roam,

Their long, long cry for rest and home.

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