Ere time began, ere age to age had thrilled,
I waited in his storehouse, as he willed;
He gave me being, but, my years fulfilled,
I shall be summoned back before the King.
He called the hidden to the light of day,
To right and left, each side the fountain lay,
From out the stream and down the steps, the way
That led me to the garden of the King.
Thou gavest me a light my path to guide,
To prove my heart's recesses still untried;
And as I went, thy voice in warning cried:
"Child! fear thou him who is thy God and King!"
True weight and measure learned my heart from thee;
If blessings follow, then what joy for me!
If naught but sin, all mine the shame must be,
For that was not determined by the King.
I hasten, trembling, to confess the whole
Of my transgressions, ere I reach the goal
Where mine own words must witness 'gainst my soul,
And who dares doubt the writing of the King?
Erring I wandered in the wilderness,
In passion's grave night sinking powerless:
Now deeply I repent, in sore distress,
That I kept not the Statutes of the King!
With worldly longings was my bosom fraught,
Earth's idle toys and follies all I sought;
Ah! when he judges joys so dearly bought,
How greatly shall I fear my Lord and King!
Now conscience-stricken, humbled to the dust,
Doubting himself, in thee alone his trust,
He shrinks in terror back, for God is just
How can a sinner hope to reach the King?
Oh! be thy mercy in the balance laid,
To hold thy servant's sins more lightly weighed,
When, his confession penitently made,
He answers for his guilt before the King.
Thine is the love, O God! and thine the grace,
That folds the sinner in its mild embrace;
Thine the forgiveness bridging o'er the space
'Twixt man's works and the task set by the King.
Unheeding all my sins, I cling to thee!
I know that mercy will thy footstool be:
Before I call, oh! do thou answer me,
For nothing dare I claim of thee, my King!
O thou who makest guilt to disappear,
My help, my hope, my rock, I will not fear;
Though thou the body hold in dungeon drear,
The soul has found the palace of the King.
--MOSES BEN NACHMAN.
Thy praise, O Lord! will I proclaim
In hymns unto thy glorious name.
O thou Redeemer, Lord and King,
Redemption to thy faithful bring!
Before thine altar they rejoice p. 354
With branch of palm and myrtle stem,
To thee they raise the prayerful voice--
Have mercy, save and prosper them.
Mayst thou, in mercy manifold,
Dear unto thee thy people hold,
When at thy gate they bend the knee,
And worship and acknowledge thee.
Do thou their hearts' desire fulfil,
Rejoice with them in love this day,
Forgive their sins and thoughts of ill,
And their transgressions cast away.
They overflow with prayer and praise
To him, who knows the future days.
Have mercy thou, and hear the prayer
Of those who palms and myrtles bear.
Thee day and night they sanctify,
And in perpetual song adore;
Like to the heavenly hosts they cry:
"Blessed art thou for evermore."
--ELEAZAR BEN JACOB KALIR.
By the faithful of his children in their conclaves
Shall his name be sanctified,
Awe-inspiring are the praises of his angels,
And the voices in his temple spread his glory
Far and wide.
Those who keep his law shall yet again be gathered
To the stronghold of his might,
Those who fear him commune, praying, with each other--
He will hear and in the book of their memorial
He will write.
Let your deeds be fair and righteous--then unbroken
He the covenant will hold. p. 355
He who maketh bright the heavens, he will heed you
And will count your prayers more precious than the off'rings
Brought of old.
May the tribes of those who worship and proclaim him
Be uplifted as of yore,
When he pruneth, may he cut the straggling branches,
For to him belong the sov'reignty and kingdom
May he lead us once again unto the mountain
Of his sanctuary's shrine,
There to glorify him ever in his temple,
For our God will not forget his word, the holy
At his name shall heaven and earth break forth in praises
With a joy that shall not cease,
And the woods shall shout and clap their hands in gladness,
For the Lord our God has visited his people,
From each band of angels mighty in their splendor,
From each shining, circling star,
Hymns and praises evermore declare his glory,
Saying, "Praise him with the sound of joyful trumpets,
All the creatures of the universe together,
Heaven above and earth below,
Shall proclaim, "The Lord in all his works is mighty,
He is king o'er all the earth, and his salvation
All shall know."
Our Rock with loving care,
According to his word, p. 356
Bids all his bounty share,
Then let us bless the Lord.
His flock our Shepherd feeds
With graciousness divine,
He satisfies our needs
With gifts of bread and wine.
Therefore with one accord
We will his name adore,
None holy as the Lord.
Our Rock, etc.
The land desired so long,
Our fathers' heritage,
Inspires our grateful song
To God from age to age;
His bounteous gifts afford
Us sustenance each day,
His mercy is our stay,
For faithful is the Lord.
Our Rock, etc.
Oh! be thy mercy moved,
Our Rock, to dwell with us,
With Zion, thy beloved,
Our temple glorious.
May we, redeemed, restored,
Be led there, every one,
By David's holy son,
The anointed of the Lord.
Our Rock, etc.
Thy city fill once more,
Thy temple-walls upraise,
There will we thee adore
With joyful songs of praise,
Thee, merciful, adored,p. 357
We bless and sanctify,
With wine-cups filled up high,
By blessings of the Lord.
Our Rock, etc.
Lord of the universe, who reigned
Ere earth and heaven's fashioning,
When to create the world he deigned,
Then was his name proclaimèd King.
And at the end of days shall he,
The Dreaded One, still reign alone,
Who was, who is, and still will be
Unchanged upon his glorious throne.
And he is one, his powers transcend,
Supreme, unfathomed, depth and height,
Without beginning, without end,
His are dominion, power, and might.
My God and my Redeemer he,
My rock in sorrow's darkest day,
A help and refuge unto me,
My cup's full portion, when I pray.
My soul into his hand divine
Do I commend; I will not fear,
My body with it I resign,
I dread no evil; God is near.