Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
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Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
 
Before the Ark
By George Alexander Kohut
 
WHEN Solomon, great King of Israel,
  Builded the Temple of old,
He fashioned the “Ark of the Cov’nant”
  Within and without of gold.
 
He moulded two Cherubim splendid        5
  (At God, the Eternal’s command)
Whose pinions the Holy of Holies
  Like a luminous symbol spanned.
 
The wings of these wonderful angels
  He welded together where        10
The Lord from His high seat of Mercy
  Re-echoed the voice divine.
 
And thus when the people lay prostrate
  Before the shimmering shrine,
From betwixt the horns of the Altar        15
  Re-echoed the voice divine.
 
We, also, dear children of Israel,
  Are bending before the Ark,
And our spirits’ gold wings are shining
  Bright in the mystical dark.        20
 
As they touch, we whisper devoutly
  The great ineffable name,
And His voice, like music celestial,
  Chimes from the Ner Tamid’s 1 flame.
 
The words we can clearly distinguish—        25
  Their meaning is solemn and grand;
“O, Children of Israel, remember!
  Know ye before Whom you stand!”
 
 
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