Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
Rebecca’s Hymn
By Sir Walter Scott
(From “Ivanhoe”)

WHEN Israel, of the Lord beloved,
  Out of the land of bondage came,
Her fathers’ God before her moved,
  An awful guide, in smoke and flame.
By day, along the astonish’d lands        5
  The cloudy pillar glided slow;
By night, Arabia’s crimson’d sands
  Return’d the fiery column’s glow.
There rose the choral hymn of praise,
  And trump and timbrel answer’d keen,        10
And Zion’s daughters pour’d their lays,
  With priest’s and warrior’s voice between.
No portents now our foes amaze,
  Forsaken Israel wanders lone;
Our fathers would not know Thy ways,        15
  And Thou hast left them to their own.
But present still, though now unseen,
  When brightly shines the prosperous day
Be thoughts of Thee a cloudy screen
  To temper the deceitful ray.        20
And oh, when stoops on Judah’s path
  In shade and storm the frequent night,
Be Thou, long-suffering, slow to wrath,
  A burning and a shining light!
Our harps we left by Babel’s streams,        25
  The tyrant’s jest, the Gentile’s scorn;
No censer round our altar beams,
  And mute are timbrel, harp and horn,
But Thou hast said, the blood of goat,
  The flesh of rams, I will not prize;        30
A contrite heart, a humble thought,
  Are Mine accepted sacrifice.

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