Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
Friday Night
By Miriam Del Banco
FRIDAY NIGHT! come draw the curtain;
  I am weary with the week;
Sit before the grate-fire with me,
  And together let us speak;
Put aside your books and papers—        5
  It is neither night nor day,
And the Sabbath morn approaches;
  Put your endless toil away.
Watch the fire-light—how it flickers!
  See the light and shadow play        10
From the fender to the carpet
  And across the curtain gay;
See its gentle fairy-fingers
  Touch the pictures on the wall,
Giving them a life-like beauty        15
  Lending grace to each and all.
Over yonder hangs a picture
  Sheltered from the dancing gleam;
See its dim, uncertain outlines,
  Like the mem’ry of a dream;        20
Watch the light dispel the shadows,
  And observe the lovely face;
See, it seems the Sabbath Spirit,
  Cloth’d with pure and tender grace;
Calling to your mind the missing        25
  Angels of our household band,
Who, on bygone Sabbath evenings,
  Sat beside us, hand in hand;
Bringing back our hopes and longings,
  Crowning them with light divine,        30
Showing us our vain endeavors,
  Softened by the glow of time;
Speaking of its own sweet image,
  As our fathers knew it best—
Beautiful in true thanksgiving        35
  For the day of peace and rest;
Teaching us to break the shadows
  Hovering o’er its lov’d face,
With the glowing light of fervor
  Kindled by our ancient race.        40
But I know I’m only dreaming,
  ’Tis a picture—nothing more—
Image of some lovely maiden
  Famed in song or fairy lore;
Drop the curtain, watch the fire        45
  Till the shadows flee the light;
Rest awhile within its gleaming,
  On this peaceful Sabbath night.

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