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God Our Light, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1845)

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God Our Light

כִּֽי־אַ֭תָּה תָּאִ֣יר נֵרִ֑י יְהוָ֥ה אֱ֝לֹהַ֗י יַגִּ֥יהַּ חָשְׁכִּֽי׃ (תהלים קיח:כט)
“For thou wilt light my candle, the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” (Psalms 118:29.)

With Thee, oh God! to give me light,
No darkness will appear,
And that which in my mental sight
Is dim, Thou wilt make clear.

Thou dost encircle with thy beams
The earth Thou didst create;
Nor is there any sphere but teems
With light commensurate.

Oh! never on the stormy sea
Of life let me be driven,
Without thy guiding light to see,
And lead me on to heaven.

How could I wander forth alone,
In darkness and in fear,
Unless thy heavenly light so shone,
That I might feel Thee near.

Oh! wilt Thou deign to shed a ray
Of pure unclouded light
Across my path, if I would stray
One moment from thy sight?

When Thee I seek, and sin I shun,
When virtue I pursue,
May every effort be begun
With God, my light, in view!

Oh! let thy countenance divine
So beam upon my soul,
That whether grief or bliss be mine
Thy name I may extol.

Then let no darkness make us fear,
If God our light will be;
And think, if light’s a blessing here,
How blest eternity!

The poem, “God Our Light” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was first published in the Occident and American Jewish Advocate 3:8, Marḥeshvan 5606, November 1845, p.379-380.


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