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


O Lord, who can reach Thy wisdom?
For Thou gavest the soul the faculty of knowledge that is fixed therein,
And knowledge is the fount of her glory.
Therefore hath destruction no power over her,
But she maintaineth herself by the stability of her foundation,
For such is her nature and secret;
The soul with her wisdom shall not see death.
Nevertheless shall her punishment be visited upon her,
A punishment bitterer than death,
Though be she pure she shall obtain favour
And shall laugh on the last day.
But if she hath been defiled,
She shall wander to and fro for a space in wrath and anger,
And all the days of her uncleanness
Shall she dwell vagabond and outcast;
"She shall touch no hallowed thing,
And to the sanctuary she shall not come
Till the days of her purification be fulfilled."

Next: XXXI. The Soul