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Lord of the World! When I Behold – a hymn for Yom Kippur by Penina Moïse (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)


Contribute a translationSource (English)
Lord of the world! when I behold
The ling’ring shadows of the night,
Far, far from the horizon rolled,
By the effulgent source of light;
Cheered is my soul, howe’er opprest;
For thus it trusts will mercy’s ray,
Shine on the penitential breast,
And chase the clouds of sin away.
Yet, while my eye from nature takes,
A token that may hope convey,
A secret dread my spirit shakes,
Oh God! upon this fearful day,
The mourner’s dust should strew my head,
The shroud my fitting raiment prove;
For now my sentence must be read,
By the Eternal Judge above.
Wo, wo, is me! the vain, the proud,
The votary of idle mirth;
E’en as a bulrush am I bowed,
By conscious frailty to the earth.
Peace, mortal man! nor in despair,
Forget there is a mighty hand,
Which can redemption’s standard rear,
And break corruption’s iron band.
But, oh! if thou would’st grace entreat
Of him who rends the yoke of sin;
That mercy let thy brother meet,
Which thou would’st from thy father win.
The wicked thou wilt not forsake,
Almighty Sovereign and sire!
But from their hearts defilement shake,
And love of purity inspire.
Shepherd of Israel! thy rod
Hath driven us from Zion’s fold;
Let us through righteousness, oh God!
The better land of faith behold.

“Lord of the world! when I behold,” by Penina Moïse, published in 1842, appears under the subject “Day of Atonement (Yome Hakipureem)” as Hymn 63 in Hymns Written for the Service of the Hebrew Congregation Beth Elohim, South Carolina (Penina Moïse et al., Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim, 1842), pp. 64-65. –Aharon Varady






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