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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CHANUKAH LIGHTS, by                    
First Line: I kindled my eight little candles
Last Line: A heavenly-glorious light.
Alternate Author Name(s): Raskin, P. M.
Subject(s): Courage; Fasts & Feasts; Freedom; Hanukkah; Jews; Light; Valor; Bravery; Liberty; Judaism


I KINDLED my eight little candles,
My Chanukah-candles—and lo!
Fair visions and dreams half-forgotten
To me came of years long ago.

I musingly gazed at my candles;
Meseemed in their quivering flames
In golden, in fiery letters
I read the old glorious names,

The names of our heroes immortal,
The noble, the brave, and the true,
A battle-field saw I in vision
Where many were conquered by few.

Where trampled in dust lay the mighty,
Judea's proud Syrian foe;
And Judas, the brave Maccabæus,
In front of his army I saw.

His eyes shone like bright stars of heaven,
Like music rang out his strong voice:
"Brave comrades, we fought and we conquered,
Now let us, in God's name, rejoice!

"We conquered—but know, O brave comrades,
No triumph is due to the sword!
Remember our glorious watchword,
'For People and Towns of the Lord!' "

He spoke, and from all the four corners
An echo repeated each word;
The woods and the mountains re-echoed:
"For People and Towns of the Lord!"

And swiftly the message spread, saying:
"Judea, Judea is free,
Re-kindled the lamp in the Temple,
Re-kindled each bosom with glee!"

My Chanukah-candles soon flickered,
Around me was darkness of night;
But deep in my soul I felt shining
A heavenly-glorious light.





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