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 Maccabean Call
By Emil G. Hirsch
 
OUT of dense darkness, stress of the ages,
  Flashes a star conquering night;
Visions of seers, path guide of sages,
  Portent of dawn’s purpled glad light.
 
Names one all heroes men would remember        5
  Leaders of hosts, battling for right:—
Quenches their glory’s flickering ember
  Glow of that star’s intenser might.
 
Hammer of prophet, despot defying,
  Banner with God’s lettered signs,        10
Priest and true soldier sends he aflying,
  Chaff like the king’s cowardly lines.
 
Slingshot and bowstring, buckler and lances
  David of old wielded with skill—
Harpstring as sweetly toning glad dances        15
  Woke he to echo silv’ry rill.
 
Judah’s last lion, David’s sole better,
  Sword and the harp equally knew,
Psalming his faith’s music and letter,
  Joying light’s birth song, melody new.        20
 
Judah, thou hero, song still inspiring,
  Wilt thou not rout this weak day’s doubt?
Israel, martyr, newly aspiring,
  Raise thou again Maccabee’s shout.
 
What if barbed arrows black hatred hurling,        25
  Unsheaths the sword Syrians once drew,
Wave not the flag, God’s sign unfurling,
  Judah the Hammer’s purpose still true?
 
Choir not the ages, boldly defying
  Tyrants’ and bigots’ hoarse battle-cry,        30
Singing this one song, surely relying
  Mi Kamokha Baelim Adhonay?
 
Up Thou and shine forth, thy light unhidden
  Must rally round thee, livers of right!
Cleanse thou thy temple, All men be bidden        35
  Join thee, God’s Priest, at thy altared light!
 
 
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