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Spring, a hymn on “Immortality of the Soul” by Penina Moïse (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)


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Holy and everlasting one!
With joy we hail the vernal sun,
With pride on Nature’s temple gaze,
Where Spring her sweet oblation lays.
Firstlings of fragrance there abound,
Blossoms without a blemish found,
Off’rings the Levite e’en might prize,
For incense worthy of the skies.
To strangers now in Palestine,
The rose of Sharon we resign,
Lilies no more within its light,
Expand to gladden Israel’s sight.
Holy and everlasting one!
Glory is from thy people gone;
Yet praises from their lips shall gush,
Who seem like thy own burning bush,
Endued with some mysterious power,
O’er hostile elements to tower;
A human branch by Heav’n illumed,
Through time to flourish unconsumed.

“Spring (Holy and everlasting one!)” by Penina Moïse, published in 1842, appears under the subject “Immortality of the Soul” as Hymn 50 in Hymns Written for the Service of the Hebrew Congregation Beth Elohim, South Carolina (Penina Moïse et al., Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim, 1842), p. 53. In the one copy of this first edition we know to exist, pages 53 through 56 are missing, and so the lines of the hymn were recovered from the second edition, Hymns Written for the Use of Hebrew Congregations (Penina Moïse et al., Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim, 1856), p. 141, where it appears as Hymn 144. Punctuation and capitalization for these lines are provided as found under the conventions of the first edition. –Aharon Varady






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