Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
Song of Judas Maccabeus before the Battle of Maspha
By Rebekah Hyneman
ON, warriors and chiefs! every step we have trod,
  Though blood-stained with carnage and heaped with the slain,
Bear witness we fight for the glory of God,
  Whose aid we have asked, nor entreated in vain.
Attest it your armies, whose glittering array        5
  At noonday outshown in his splendor the sun,
Attest it ye proud girded warriors, who lay
  Unhonored and cold when the battle was done.
They came to subdue us, Oh, God of the just!
  Thy arm was our shield, Thy protection our power,        10
Still aid and defend us, Oh, Thou whom we trust,
  In prosperity’s pride and affliction’s dark hour.
When we cease to remember the martyrs, whose blood
  They have poured out like water, may we be forgot;
When we cease to remember the fierce pangs they withstood,        15
  May our strength be derided, our memory a blot.
Oh, falter not when their fierce glittering host
  Comes spreading destruction and blight o’er the land;
Remember proud Syrian, how vain was his boast,
  And firm be your hearts like the rocks where you stand.        20
Then on! can ye waver when Heaven’s pure light
  Smiles approvingly down on the path we have trod?
On! on! be it victory or death! ere the night
  We have conquered or died for the glory of God.

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