“Light the Festive Candles” by Aileen Lucia Fisher
Light the first of eight tonight—
the farthest candle to the right.
Light the first and second, too,
when tomorrow’s day is through.
Then light three, and then light four—
every dusk one candle more
Till all eight burn bright and high,
honoring a day gone by
When the Temple was restored,
rescued from the Syrian lord,
And an eight-day feast proclaimed—
The Festival of Lights—well named
To celebrate the joyous day
when we regained the right to pray
to our one God in our own way.
Aileen Fisher, “Light the Festive Candles” from Skip Around the Year (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1967). Copyright © 1967, 1985