And Who Will Look upon Our Testimony

Hirsch, Edward

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Nixon, Lois LaCivita
  • Date of entry: Nov-11-1994


For those considering a comprehensive overview of plague in Medieval Europe, Hirsch’s long poem is extremely useful. Comprised of thirty-five stanzas, it provides an historical account of devastation associated with the onset of plague in Venice in 1347. An inventory of behavioral responses to catastrophic disease illustrates that responses to AIDS frequently mimic irrational behaviors associated with earlier epidemics. There are references to hysteria, scapegoating, flagellants, illness symptoms, escape, desperate cures, and religious fervor.


Related works of interest are Thucydides, The Peloponnesian Wars; Albert Camus, The Plague (see this database); Peter Barnes, 0003 (see this database), and Ingmar Bergman’s film, "The Seventh Seal."

Primary Source

The Night Parade



Place Published

New York