John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Advent 2006: Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages, let our song
Praise Thy saving power;
Thou, amidst the raging foes,
Wast our sheltering tower.
Furious they assailed us,
But Thine arm availed us,
And Thy Word
Broke their sword
When our own strength failed us.

Kindling new the holy lamps,
Priests, approved in suffering,
Purified the nation’s shrine,
Brought to God their offering.
And His courts surrounding
Hear, in joy abounding,
Happy throngs,
Singing songs
With a mighty sounding.

Children of the martyr race,
Whether free or fettered,
Wake the echoes of the songs
Where ye may be scattered.
Yours the message cheering
That the time is nearing
Which will see
All men free,
Tyrants disappearing.

Marcus Jastrow (1829 – 1903) and Gustav Gottheil (1827 – 1903)

Happy Hanukkah! Today's poem is a loose translation of a well-known Hanukkah hymn, Maoz Tsur. The original is quite a lot longer than this; each of its five stanzas discuss a particular period of oppression of the Jews. This version concerns itself only with the deliverance of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire.

Previous Advent posts:

Tags: poet's corner
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