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MOTELE FROM THE WARSAW GHETTO
by Reuven Lifshutz translated by Roslyn Bresnick-Perry

In the narrow alleys of the ghetto,
Where the sun with effort sends a beam:
on his fragile body clothes with patches,
The tailor's youngest son is to be seen.
Every morning looking like a shadow,
on his listless lips, the mark of want.
Through barbed wire steals from out the ghetto
To earn enough for bread-a job he hunts.
Motele, a decent fellow,
Motele, a skillful guy:
Motele, successful also,
Because our Mod, he excels in all he tries.
Jews rebel against the brutal tyrant,
Pools of blood in every ghetto street.
Mod helps in building the entrenchments,
His young face with hate and anger bleak.
In this fire two blue eyes are shining,
Thirst and hunger dry and crack his tongue,
Horror beats in his brave heart so daring,
For his people every bomb is flung.
Motele, a decent fellow...
Dzhike, Pave, Mile, Niske, Genshe
Streets where flames are leaping all about,
The boom of cannon fire shatters Warsaw,
Cries for help are heard through helpless shout.
in the roar of falling bombs and cannons
Mod's name is heard, it floats so free,
On barricades our hero fell among them,
His Bar-Mitzvah didn't live to see.
Motele, a decent fellow,
Motele, a skillful guy.
Motele, successful also
Because our Mod, he excelled in all he tried.
Source: Mlotek, p. 66.

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