In the far-off days, when religion was not a habit, but an emotion, there lived a little-known poet who solved the pathetic puzzle of how to sing the Lord’s song in a strange land. Minor poets of the period in plenty had essayed a like task, leaving a literature the very headings of which are strange to uninstructed ears. ‘ Piyutim ,’ ‘ Selichoth ’: what meaning do these words convey to most of us? And yet they stand for songs of exile, sung by patient generations of men who tell a monotonous tale of mournful times: ‘ When ancient griefs Are closely veiled In recent shrouds,’ as one of the anonymous host expresses it. For the writers were of the race of the traditional Sweet Singer, and their lot was cast in those picturesquely disappointing Middle Ages, too close to the chivalry of the time to appreciate its charm. One pictures these comparatively cultured pariahs, these gaberdined, degenerate descendants of seers and prophets, looking out from their ghettoes on a world which, for all the stir and bustle of barbaric life, was to them as desolate and as bare of promise of safe resting-place as when the waters covered it, and only the tops of the mountains appeared.