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.
 
Lights in the Temple
By John Keble
 
   “And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning; when he dresseth the lamps he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it; a perpetual incense before the Lord, throughout your generations.”—Exod. xxx. 7, 8.

NOW the stars are lit in heaven,
  We must light our lamps on earth;
Every star a signal given
  From the God of our new birth:
Every lamp an answer faint,        5
Like the prayer of mortal Saint.
 
Mark the hour and turn this way,
  Sons of Israel, far and near!
Wearied with the world’s dim day,
  Turn to Him whose eyes are here,        10
Open, watching day and night,
Beaming unapproachéd light!
 
With sweet oil-drops in His hour
  Feed the branch of many lights,
Token of protecting power,        15
  Pledg’d to faithful Israelites,
Emblem of the anointed Home,
When the glory deigns to come.
 
Watchers of the sacred flame,
  Sons of Aaron! serve in fear,—        20
Deadly is th’ avenger’s aim,
  Should th’ unhallowed enter here;
Keen his fires, should recreants dare
Breathe the pure and fragrant air.
 
There is One will bless your toil—        25
  He who comes in Heaven’s attire,
Morn by morn, with holy oil;
  Eve by eve, with holy fire!
Pray!—your prayer will be allowed,
Mingling with His incense cloud!        30
 
 
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