Atonement Evening Prayer

A poem by Morris Rosenfeld

Atonement Day--evening pray'r--sadness profound.
The soul-lights, so clear once, are dying around.
The reader is spent, and he barely can speak;
The people are faint, e'en the basso is weak.
The choristers pine for the hour of repose.
Just one--two chants more, and the pray'r book we close!

And now ev'ry Jew's supplication is ended,
And Nilah* approaching, and twilight descended.
The blast of the New Year is blown on the horn,
All go; by the Ark I am standing forlorn,
And thinking: "How shall it be with us anon,
When closed is the temple, and ev'ryone gone!"

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