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 Sabbath Lamp
By Grace Aguilar
 
(Suggested by a picture painted by S. A. Hart, R.A.)

SHINE, Sabbath Lamp, oh shine with tender ray!
  Pierce the soft wavelets of the fading light;
Speed the faint footsteps of the waning day,
  And greet the shadows of the coming night.
 
Cast thy rays upward,—cleave the darkening air,        5
  And lift a stream of brilliant light on high;
Shine on the wings of Faith, and may they bear
  The wavering wandering heart from earth to sky!
 
Fling thy beams forward,—may their radiance meet
  The welcome presence of the heaven-sent guest;        10
Illume the path she treads with glistening feet;
  The Sabbath Bride of Israel’s panting breast!
 
Cast thy gleams backward—Six days’ toils are told;
  Soothe with thy smile the wearied breast and brain;
And may thy glittering lustre change to gold        15
  Each seventh link in life’s dull iron chain.
 
Shed thy rays downward—may their sacred ray
  On life’s rough road of earthly travel shine;
And strew the crags that fret the rugged way
  With sparkling gems which breathe a light divine!        20
 
Cast thy beams inward—may they pierce the fold
  That each one gathers round his secret breast;
Shew forth the idol in its godless mould,
  That we may crush it in our bosom’s nest!
 
Shed thy rays outward,—lest at last we grow,        25
  Centered in self—and life’s best purpose mock;
And dwell, unmindful of a brother’s woe,
  Like callous limpet on the weed-bound rock.
 
Cast thy beams homeward—may they sweetly bear
  The smiles of household peace where’er they shine;        30
Test of an earthly mother’s tender care,
  Type of the heavenly Father’s love divine.
 
Shine near and far—in every Jewish home—
  In every clime—on every distant shore,—
Where in the stranger land the loved ones roam:        35
  Oh! let us greet them in thy gleams once more!
 
Ah, shine afar! and may thy waves of light
  Bring near the absent dear ones far away,
Show us our loved ones in our dreams to-night,—
  Our dead who rest in Heaven’s bright Sabbath day!        40
 
For Faith, like Light, sheds beams on every side;
  Faith shares with Light its radiating power,
Then shine, oh Lamp! and greet the Sabbath bride,
  And shine, oh Faith! and bless the Sabbath hour.
 
Shine on the Past—and, as the raindrops gleam        45
  With rainbow tints where’er the sunbeams rest,
So may our tears grow bright beneath thy beam,
  And every grief be sanctified and blest.
 
Shine on the Present—may thy beacon-light
  Beam on life’s sea where mists and tempests reign;        50
And may its radiance guide our course aright,
  And fling its silvery track across the main.
 
Shine on the Future—lead these hearts of ours
  Far beyond home and clime and native strand,
Light up the East—gleam on yon ruined towers;        55
  And rend the gloom that veils our long-lost land.
 
Shine Sabbath Lamp, with ray of heavenly birth,
  Emblem of Faith and Hope in Mercy given;
Gleam on the rude, dark path we tread on earth,
  And light our souls to find the road to Heaven.        60
 
 
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