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.
 
Simchas Torah
By C. David Matt
 
FULL oft has the ark been opened
  And in the sad procession,
Our Fathers bore the sacred Law
  Their one most dear possession.
 
While unto the foe abandoned        5
  To ravish and to spoil,
They left their rich and plenteous store,
  The fruits of a life of toil.
 
And into the regions unfathomed
  They bore the precious scroll,        10
To shield it or to die for it,
  To pay the exile’s toll.
 
Yet in to-day’s pageant procession
  Of banner and scroll and light,
The Jew clasps tight the self-same Law        15
  He bore through oppression’s night.
 
Rejoice then, O Israel! Thy praise
  Unto thy Maker give.
No more the Torah bids thee die;
  To-day it bids thee live!        20
 
To live for it, and to cherish
  Each sacred memory,
Which time has woven in a crown
  Of glory unto thee.
 
Let revelry hold its sway, then,        25
  And the hour be given to cheer;
For the cycle of reading is ended
  On the happiest day of the year.
 
And lest the mocker, derisive,
  Avow you delight to be through,        30
Lovingly wind it from end to start;
  Begin to read it anew.
 
 
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