“Veni, O Adonai”

O Lord of Hosts, you rule your chosen people
With a deft and mighty outstretched hand,
And have since long before that famous day
You spoke to Moses from the burning bush;
You struck their foes with plagues, then brought them forth
From Egypt, where they lived in slavery,
Then dry-shod through the Sea. On Sinai’s peak
You showed your majesty in smoke and thunder,
And in such an awesome, fearsome, voice
That all who heard it fell and cried with dread
You spoke your law, that all might know your ways.
Now, Lord, your people cry again in anguish,
Laboring under the selfish rule
Of those who hate you: Come deliver us,
Show forth your righteousness, bring low the proud,
And grant your chosen saints to hear your voice.

This is a verse expansion or meditation on the second of the O Antiphons; my poem on the first appeared here last week, and I hope to finish poems based on all seven before Christmas.

Moses on Mount Sinai by Jean-Léon Gérôme

As always, I earnestly welcome your questions, suggestions, or other comments about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments); get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing; or follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things). You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.


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