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Selected Religious Poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol, tr. by Israel Zangwill, [1923], at


Who shall descend as deep as Thy thoughts?
For from the splendour of the sphere of Intelligence Thou hast wrought the radiance of souls, p. 101
And the high angels that are the messengers of Thy will,
The ministers of Thy presence,
Majestic of power and great in the Kingdom of heaven,
"In their hand the flaming sword that turneth every way,"
Performing their work whithersoever the spirit wafteth them,
All of them shapen to comeliness, shimmering as pearls,
Transcendent creatures,
Angels of the outer courts, or angels of the Presence,
Watching Thy movements.
From a holy place are they come,
And from the fount of light are they drawn.
They are divided into companies,
And on their banner are signs graven of the pen of the swift scribe.
There are superior and attendant bands,
And hosts running and returning,
But never weary and never faint,
Seeing but invisible.
And there are some wrought of flame,
And some are wafted air,
And some compounded of fire and of water,
And there are Seraphim in burning rows,
And wingèd lightnings and darting arrows of fire,
And each troop of them all bows itself down
"To Him who rideth the highest heavens."
And in the supreme sphere of the universe they stand in thousands and tens of thousands, p. 102
Divided into watches,
That change daily and nightly at the beginning of their vigils,
For the ritual of psalms and songs,
"To Him who is girt with omnipotence."
All of them with dread and trembling bow and prostrate themselves to Thee,
Saying: To Thee we acknowledge
That Thou art He, the Lord our God;
Thou hast made us, and not we ourselves,
And the work of Thy hands are we all.
For Thou art our Lord, and we are Thy servants,
Thou art our Creator, and we are Thy witnesses.

Next: XXVI. The Throne