The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Saturday


The Feast of Lights
By Emma Lazarus


Kindle the taper like the steadfast star
Ablaze on evening's forehead o'er the earth,
And add each night a lustre till afar
An eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth.
Clash, Israel, the cymbals, touch the lyre,
Blow the brass trumpet and the harsh-tongued horn;
Chant psalms of victory till the heart takes fire,
The Maccabean spirit leap new-born.

Remember how from wintry dawn till night,
Such songs were sung in Zion, when again
On the high altar flamed the sacred light,
And, purified from every Syrian stain,
The foam-white walls with golden shields were hung,
With crowns and silken spoils, and at the shrine,
Stood, midst their conqueror-tribe, five chieftains sprung
From one heroic stock, one seed divine.

Five branches grown from Mattathias' stem,
The Blessed John, the Keen-Eyed Jonathan,
Simon the fair, the Burst-of Spring, the Gem,
Eleazar, Help of-God; o'er all his clan
Judas the Lion-Prince, the Avenging Rod,
Towered in warrior-beauty, uncrowned king,
Armed with the breastplate and the sword of God,
Whose praise is: "He received the perishing."

They who had camped within the mountain-pass,
Couched on the rock, and tented neath the sky,
Who saw from Mizpah's heights the tangled grass
Choke the wide Temple-courts, the altar lie
Disfigured and polluted--who had flung
Their faces on the stones, and mourned aloud
And rent their garments, wailing with one tongue,
Crushed as a wind-swept bed of reeds is bowed,

Even they by one voice fired, one heart of flame,
Though broken reeds, had risen, and were men,
They rushed upon the spoiler and o'ercame,
Each arm for freedom had the strength of ten.
Now is their mourning into dancing turned,
Their sackcloth doffed for garments of delight,
Week-long the festive torches shall be burned,
Music and revelry wed day with night.

Still ours the dance, the feast, the glorious Psalm,
The mystic lights of emblem, and the Word.
Where is our Judas? Where our five-branched palm?
Where are the lion-warriors of the Lord?
Clash, Israel, the cymbals, touch the lyre,
Sound the brass trumpet and the harsh-tongued horn,
Chant hymns of victory till the heart take fire,
The Maccabean spirit leap new-born!

--------

We had freezing rain on top of what was left of the snow, so I chickened out on driving anywhere and stayed home. Wrote a review of "The Dauphin", a mediocre yet enjoyable episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, put lots of filters in place on my Gmail account now that there are those nifty color labels, got cards from all my California cousins, half_elf_lost, ruedifference and melissaukgirl. Discovered that I can buy a British title and am now determined to become Lady of East Shamlord. Hey, Queen Pamela of the Isle of Man is a George Mason University graduate!

fridayfiver: Sweet you rock
1. Are you married?
Since 1990.
2. When do your claws come out? When someone does something not nice to my kids.
3. Have you ever been in a car accident? Yes. Fortunately they were small -- in all cases the car suffered, not me.
4. Who is the last person you held? My son, after I insisted on brushing through his hair including the nest under the surface he tries to avoid.
5. Describe a time you've gone overboard: We'd had a flood in the basement. Everything had to be moved. Things were bad. I had a pile of thousands of books to sort in the bathroom, the one dry area. I threw a slipper at my husband.

thefridayfive: Traveling
1. Have you ever stayed in a hostel? If so, where? Did you like it? If you haven't stayed in a hostel, would you?
I never have; would be quite happy to if someone would like to send me to Europe right now.
2. What is your favo(u)rite airport that you've been to? Why? I'm fond of O'Hare from having lived in Chicago and having connected there for many flights to the west coast from the east coast, but I'd have to say Heathrow is my favorite because it means I'm near London.
3. What is the best museum you have visited on vacation? You can't expect me to choose among the British Museum and the Tate.
4. Have you ever made friends while traveling whom you keep in touch with on a regular basis? Does a Star Trek convention count as traveling?
5. Have you ever had a conversation with a seatmate on a plane? Nearly always when I've been traveling alone. My last many flights have been with my family, so it tends to be more in passing these days.

fannish5: What are your five favorite holiday-themed moments in canon (any holidays)?
1. The Mists of Avalon, Beltane
the year Arthur decided perhaps Lancelet could father his child with Gwenwyfar.
2. Boston Legal, Halloween the year Denny and Alan were flamingos.
3. Deep Space Nine, the Bajoran Gratitude Festival the year Kira led the opening ceremony.
4. Xena: Warrior Princess, the winter solstice the year Senticles saved the celebration while Xena pretended to be the Ghost of Solstice Present.
5. Doctor Who, the Christmas Invasion.


Kids gleefully watch the model trains going around Fairfax Station Railroad Museum.


There are five or six trains set up on the outdoor tracks.


Inside, a G-scale holiday layout...


...and Santas traveling on an HO-scale train...


...and tiny Z-scale trains.


Here's a local house decorated for Christmas...


...and our menorahs and Shabbat candles for the fourth night of Chanukah.
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Watched both episodes of SGA, "Miller's Crossing" because I wanted to record it and "This Mortal Coil" because of a certain person who appeared in the previews. I think the former is a better episode, but I really loved the latter, in part because of that person and in part because I love where the Replicator plot is going -- they interest me so much more than the Wraith and the storyline reminds me of things I like on both Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica.

I was so happy to see Elizabeth, then so bummed to learn that she's dead, though it's 1) not really a surprise and 2) something that would be very easy to reverse -- we never see a body, Keller2 may not have all the information, etc. The business about the soul being the secret ingredient for ascension could get very woo-woo and silly if badly done, but I love the way the idea is being played with now, the way Star Trek characters have negotiated whether Data and the EMH have souls (BSG has gone over into woo-woo on the topic of Cylon souls once too often for my taste). And I love Weir2 insisting that compassion is a fundamental ingredient of being human, and Sheppard2 insisting that freedom is something real humans will always fight for, and Keller2 deciding to let them warn the real Atlantis rather than keeping them on the fake one to die, though I was positive it was all a ruse to help the Replicators locate the real one. I like Carter, but I must admit that I really miss Weir, and I've missed other people missing her too the way Rodney finally gets around to missing Carson.

Older son thinks he is supposed to have a chorus concert tomorrow but he doesn't seem to know where he's supposed to go for it. So we may be going to that, or we may be going to see The Golden Compass, or both. Under any circumstances, apaulled and I are going out to dinner and to see the Ocean Quintet in the evening!
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