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Why Mourneth Zion’s Daughter Now, a hymn for Tishah b’Av by Penina Moïse (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)


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Why mourneth Zion’s daughter now,
Her head with ashes strewed?
She weeps for Judah’s broken vow,
Her spirit is subdued.
Queen of the nations! thou art reft
Of temple, crown and throne;
Thy muse hath no echo left,
But sorrow’s plaintive tone.
The glory of the earth wert thou,
Thy beauty is no more;
For dust defiles they royal brow,
Thy garments stream with gore.
Like harts that can no pasture find,
Thy trembling princes fly;
Mute doves to foreign hands consigned.
Thy captives virgins sigh.
The arrow in thy breast is sheathed,
The net thy feet ensnares;
The yoke around they neck is wreathed,
Thy portion is but tears.
Can Gilead then no balms bestow,
To heal my people’s wound?
Oh God! let hope from heaven flow,
And mercy’s balm be found.

“Why mourneth Zion’s daughter now,” by Penina Moïse, published in 1842, appears under the subject “Commemoration of the Destruction of Jerusalem (Tishnga Beab)” as Hymn 72 in Hymns Written for the Service of the Hebrew Congregation Beth Elohim, South Carolina (Penina Moïse et al., Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim, 1842), pp. 75-76. –Aharon Varady






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