Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BEFORE THE ARK, by GEORGE ALEXANDER KOHUT

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BEFORE THE ARK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When solomon, great king of israel
Last Line: "know ye before whom you stand!"
Subject(s): Israel; Jews; Solomon (10th Century B.c.); Temples; Judaism; Mosques

WHEN Solomon, great King of Israel,
Builded the Temple of old,
He fashioned the "Ark of the Cov'nant"
Within and without of gold.

He moulded two Cherubim splendid
(At God, the Eternal's command)
Whose pinions the Holy of Holies
Like a luminous symbol spanned.

The wings of these wonderful angels
He welded together where
The Lord from His high seat of Mercy
Re-echoed the voice divine.

And thus when the people lay prostrate
Before the shimmering shrine,
From betwixt the horns of the Altar
Re-echoed the voice divine.

We, also, dear children of Israel,
Are bending before the Ark,
And our spirits' gold wings are shining
Bright in the mystical dark.

As they touch, we whisper devoutly
The great ineffable name,
And His voice, like music celestial,
Chimes from the Ner Tamid's flame.

The words we can clearly distinguish—
Their meaning is solemn and grand;
"O, Children of Israel, remember!
Know ye before Whom you stand!"

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