The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday and Maryland Zoo

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!


Daniel slept till nearly noon, went out to lunch with my father, and spent the rest of the day playing Skyrim and watching TV with me. Adam went home with his girlfriend after school, did not answer texts about where he was, and got my mother to pick him up because he knew he'd be in trouble if he called me that late in the day to ask for a ride. In other words, both my kids and parents apparently had good days (a better day than LiveJournal's idiot designers, at least, who deserve every word of the fury over their unwanted site changes they're getting).

I watched a DS9 episode ("Vortex") that I need to review, read half of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which I am glad I didn't read before I saw the movie because le Carré is vastly better even than the miniseries -- don't get me wrong, I loved the film, but the book is really excellent, I had no idea -- then watched the Terra Nova season (and possibly series) finale, which was also very entertaining, as both the writing and the acting have improved a great deal and the dinos are always awesome. Paul got me The Cat's Eye Tarot for Chanukah. And that's all that's worth reporting from here. Maryland Zoo animals last weekend:


  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded