Friday Eve, a poem by Rabbi Alter Abelson (1931)

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open_content_license: Creative Commons Zero (CC 0) Universal license a Public Domain dedication

Date: 2019-01-25

Last Updated: 2022-05-31

Categories: Ḳabbalat Shabbat, Se'udat Leil Shabbat

Tags: 20th century C.E., 57th century A.M., Kohenet, Queens, romanticism, Sabbath Queen

Excerpt: The poem “Friday Eve” by Rabbi Alter Abelson (1931). . . .

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Friday Eve

An enchantress is my mother,
Lo, she lifts a wizard hand;
And she is the queen of fairies,
And our home is fairyland.

Like an altar, glows the table—
Bread and light and rosy wine;
And from all, a golden fable
Trails like glories from a shrine.

Seven knights bedight with silver
Lift their banners, brands of flame—
Hailing Princess Sabbath’s advent
With her retinue of fame,

With her nurse Repose and Quiet,
With her maidens Mirth and Health,
With her Governess of Wisdom
Guarding all the spirit’s wealth.

And the Priestess is my mother,
Hands uplifted by the light,
All she blesses and transfigures
Bringing daylight on the night.

And ethereal snow and fire,
Wine and milk of Paradise,
Is her haloed countenance,
A sheḳinah of smiles and sighs.

All in Sabbath dress arrayed
Shine like Solomon on his throne;
And like harps in heaven played,
Hymeneal hymns intone.

The poem “Friday Eve” can be found in Alter Abelson’s collection of poetry, Sambatyon and other Poems, vol. 1 (New York: Ariel Publications, 1931), p. 79.


Friday Eve by Rabbi Alter Abelson (1931)


Contributor: Aharon N. Varady (editing/transcription)


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Title: 1024px-William_Blake_Richmond_-_Venus_and_Anchises_-_Google_Art_Project
Caption: "Venus and Anchises" by William Blake Richmond (circa 1889)