Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
The Prayer of the High Priest
By Marie Harrold Garrison
100 Years B.C.E.

THE HIGH PRIEST at the altar lingering stood—
          The service o’er.
The worshippers with faces kind and good,
          Passed from the door.
The synagogue was empty; only one—        5
          A Child—remained;
With eager eyes as shining as the Sun
          He stood as chained.
“Kohen Gadol,” said he, “When I grow
          To man’s estate,        10
I hope that I shall know the things you know
          And be as great.
“And Oh, I wish such glorious robes to wear
          As these of yours,
Dear Master, intercede for me in prayer,        15
          For that secures
“What e’er you ask. And here—behold I bring
          These beauteous flowers;
Upon the brink of Kedron they did cling
          These many hours.        20
“Accept them. With the other blossoms—see?—
          Are here, so fair,
The Valley Lilies; these I give to thee,
          Now make thy prayer.”
On that boy’s head the High Priest—smiling—laid        25
          A kindly hand.
He said: “My child, these lilies here have prayed;
          They understand
“As well as I the mysteries of God.
          I ask for you        30
Such raiment as the flowers of the sod
          When fresh with dew.
“Abide thou in thine innocence, for lo!
          The Great High Priest
May even less of God—Jehovah—know        35
          Than thou, the Least.”

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