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.
 
The Menorah
By Harry Wolfsohn (Trans. H. B. Ehrmann)
 
FOR ages imprisoned in shadow,
  I had longed for a glimpse of the light;
And so when the sun in his glory,
  Bewildered and dazzled my sight,
I acclaimed him my God and desired        5
  To pour forth my soul to this One,
To bow down midst worshiping strangers,
  And pray, as they prayed, to the Sun.
 
I abandoned my temple and altars,
  Denied my Menorah its flame,        10
For is there not one Sun in Heaven
  That shines upon all men the same?
On every tongue but one language,
  In every heart but one prayer?
Oh, all the world is my temple,        15
  I’m one of the worshipers there!
 
But evening came with the twilight,
  And lo! Now my Sun-God was gone;
And far the sun-worshipers scattered
  When the last glow of light was done.        20
Then all of them lit their own candles,
  Each followed a star of his own,
And there in his own light’s glimmer
  He worshiped a God of his own!
 
And so I relit my Menorah,        25
  By its light my own God I extol;
And by the dim flaming Menorah
  I seek to discover my soul.
Its oil is a life-giving fountain,
  Its wick as our union appears,        30
And I see by its flame ascending
  The course of our future years!
 
 
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