Sacred Texts  Judaism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


O God, I am ashamed and confounded
To stand before Thee with this my knowledge
That even as the might of Thy greatness,
So is the completeness of my poverty and humbleness,
That even as the might of Thy potency
So is the weakness of my ability,
And that even as Thou art perfect, so am I wanting. p. 108
For Thou art a Unity, and Thou art living,
Thou art mighty, and Thou art permanent,
And Thou art great, and Thou art wise, and
Thou art God!
And I am but a clod, and a worm,
Dust from the ground,
A vessel full of shame,
A mute stone,
A passing shadow,
"A wind that fleeth away and returneth not again."
To an asp akin,
Deceitful underneath,
Uncircumcised of heart,
Great in wrath,
Craftsman in sin and deception,
Haughty of eye,
Short in forbearance,
Impure of lips,
Crooked of ways,
And hot-footed.
What am I?
What is my life?
What my might and what my righteousness?
Naught is the sum of me all the days of my being,
And how much the more so after my death!
From nothing I came,
And to nothing I go.
Lo! before Thee am I come, as one "not according to the law,"
With insolence of brow,
And uncleanness of thoughts, p. 109
And a lewd desire
On his idols turned,
And lust showing itself master;
With a soul impure
And a heart unclean,
Perishing and corrupted,
And a body plagued
With a rabble of pains
Increasing until increase is impossible.

Next: XXXIV.