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Friday Night, a poem by Miriam del Banco (1917)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=44764 Friday Night, a poem by Miriam del Banco (1917) 2022-06-02 12:39:04 The poem "Friday Night" by Miriam del Banco (1858-1931) was included in <em>The Standard Book of Jewish Verse</em> (ed. Friedlander & Kohut 1917), p. 269. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Miriam del Banco https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Erev Shabbat Prayers as poems English vernacular prayer 19th century C.E. 57th century A.M. English poetry
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Friday Night
Friday night! come draw the curtain;
I am weary with the week;
Sit before the grate-fire with me.
And together let us speak;
Put aside your books and papers,—
It is neither night nor day,
And the Sabbath hour approaches;
Put your endless toil away.
Watch the fire-light—how it flickers!
See the light and shadow play
From the fender to the carpet
And across the curtains gay;
See its gentle fairy-fingers
Touch the pictures on the wall,
Giving them a life-like beauty,
Lending grace to each and all.
Over yonder hangs a picture
Sheltered from the dancing gleam;
See its dim uncertain outlines,
Like the mem’ry of a dream,
Watch when light dispels the shadow,
And observe the lovely face;
See, it seems the Sabbath Spirit,
Cloth’d with pure and tender grace;
Calling to your mind the missing
Angels of our household band,
Who, on bygone Sabbath evenings,
Sat beside us, hand in hand;
Bringing back our hopes and longings,
Crowning them with light divine,
Showing us our vain endeavors
Softened by the glow of time;
Speaking of its own sweet image,
As our fathers knew it best,—
Beautiful in true thanksgiving
For the day of peace and rest;
Teaching us to break the shadows,
Hovering o’er its loved face,
With the glowing light of fervor,
Kindled by our ancient race.
But I know I’m only dreaming,
’Tis a picture—nothing more,—
Image of some lovely maiden
Famed in song or fairy lore;
Drop the curtain, watch the fire
Till the shadows flee the light;
Rest awhile within its gleaming,
On this peaceful Sabbath night.

The poem “Friday Night” by Miriam del Banco (1858-1931) was included in The Standard Book of Jewish Verse (ed. Friedlander & Kohut 1917), p. 269. It can also be found in her posthumously published anthology, Poetry and Prose (1932), p. 106-107. “Friday Night” was likely published earlier, but we do not know where or when. If you know, please leave a comment, or contact us. –Aharon Varady

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