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The Yale literary magazine (v. 85)

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Pages: 202

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Yale University

Excerpt from book: JUDAS MAKKAVA. Maccabaeus or Makkava (Gr. MaKKaj3uo), "the Hammer," was originally the surname of Judas, third son of the Jewish priest Mattathias, who struck the first blow for religious liberty during the persecution under Antiochus IV (Epiphanes. In 166 B.C. Mattathias died, charging his seven sons to give their lives for the ancestral faith, and naming Judas as their leader. The military genius of Judas made this struggle one of the most stirring chapters in the history of the Jewish revolt against the pagan Greek rites imposed upon them by their Syrian conquerors. It was at Bethoron that the Syrian prince, Seron, was defeated, the victory resulting in the restoration of the Temple worship at Jerusalem by Judas in 165. (Scene: The battle field at Bethoron.) Judas Makkava, leaning on his sword. "Sunset! And all my blood too fierce to sleep! But one dream's dreamt—Jerusalem is free! And yet—O, warrior spirit depart not From me now nor leave me here to fight alone. And O, my hungry soul, content thyself! Look on these mounds of glorious glad dead And know that howe'er eager thou still art Here, here thy glory ends with set of sun . . . Thy brothers—all, aye each!—must outrace thee! For they are free from this thy treacherous taint. O, God! What now if all the city knew These traitorous thoughts that in thy heart of hearts Run molelike underground!—yea, and bulge forth In blind-bold furrows to betray themselves! Why, to thy throat that rabble would leap up And kill! "Is it then wantonness to slay What would be slain if they at home but knew How hot thy heart burns now with lust for raising Of thyself still higher—higher still! O, with this battle's victory for rung (To climb with dizzy ladder David clomb To kingship and a fame conjoint with thee O, Evenin...  


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