Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
The Hymn of Glory
(Trans. I. A.)
SWEET hymns I chant, and weave melodious songs
My God, to Thee, for whom my being longs.
O let my soul beneath Thy sheltr’ing hand
Enshaded, all Thy secrets understand.
Whene’er in words Thy glory I would prove,        5
My panting heart yearns ever for Thy love.
So when in glorious praise of Thee I sing,
With loving cadences my voice shall ring.
I tell Thy glory, God unknown by me,
  In metaphors by prophet lips expressed,        10
  Drawing from out Thine actions manifest,
A likeness of Thy power not of Thee.
They imaged Thee in visions manifold,
  Though Thou art One beneath all images;
  They saw Thee both in Age and Youthfulness,        15
Black-haired in youth or grey as one grown old.
Aged as Judge, and Young when war’s alarm
  To manful striving calls. Then on Thy brow
  A helm of triumph binding, forth goest Thou
Victorious through Thy right and holy arm.        20
With dews of light His head is crowned, His hair
  Heavy with night-drops glistens; He shall be
  By me adorned for He delights in me,
My garland He, the beauteous crown I wear.
Like purest gold His lustrous head does shine,        25
  Graven in words, His holy name outstands,
  Its radiance brightened, by His people’s hands,
Who bind a crown unto His crown divine.
And poets pictured His young loveliness,
  His black locks flowing in their curled array,        30
  Thus saw they Him. Yet knew His fairest trait,
His beauty’s chosen Home, was righteousness.
His treasured people were His royal crown,
  He bore them, they were precious in His eyes;
  His glory on me rests, mine on Him lies,        35
He honours me when others cast me down.
In ruddy robe, as one whose red feet fall
  On Edom’s vines, comes He a God of Woe!
  The God of Grace who did to Moses show
The symbol of His love embracing all.        40
His wrath the proud, His love the humble find,
  His heart delights to glorify the meek;
  His seekers He, with answering search, does seek;
Thus runs His truth, revealed to all mankind.
Then let my songs, my joyous ecstasies,        45
  Unto Thy diadem a gem confer;
  Or as the scented cassia and myrrh,
In fragrant incense unto Thee arise.
Do Thou as precious hold the poor man’s cry
  As psalmody anigh Thine altar sung;        50
  And may my gift, those blessed gifts among,
Find gracious way to Thee enthroned on high.
And when I praise Thee, bounteous Lord, in song
  O deem my offering the choicest spice;
  And let my thoughts be a sweet sacrifice,        55
To lift my heart to Thee, for whom I long.

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