Selected Religious Poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol, tr. by Israel Zangwill, , at sacred-texts.com
Propound a mystery, O my tongue, and give praise to God,
For He hath delivered me and exalted my horn.
Awake, my heart, and turn to the Almighty,
And in awe of His anger let my hand be lifted to Him.
Set the Most High before thee, and know that every thought
And every hidden imagining are to Him not hidden.
Dread the day of His wrath, and the dreadful position
Wherein is help or refuge for no creature.
On the day He shall judge the peoples and destroy beings
And wither all His adversaries as with the fiery blast of his nostrils
And decree the fate of all potentates, officers and rulers,
Nor pay regard to mighty princes.
And destroy tyrants and cut off the scornful,
The proud and presumptuous who rely on the
preciousness of their palanquin;
Who have forgotten their Creator and put their trust in their riches
And prided themselves above high God,
Who humbleth and uplifteth,
And have rebelled against their Master,
With their host and their multitude,
And the silver they have acquired, and the fine gold and sapphires, p. 57
And have built structures, and carved out windows,
And erected palaces, and battlements and chambers,
Nor remember the Almighty,
But wax fat in the abundance of power,
And speak arrogantly to Him
And roar like young lions.
But He is great and fearful,
And girded about with might;
He calleth the generations
And from Him are the hill-tops.
Doth He not regard the lowly,
And abase every one that is proud?
He will raise up the broken pauper
And lift him from the dunghill.
Woe to them for this,
When their Creator shall sit in judgment,
To take vengeance on them, their grown and their little ones, p. 58
And they shall fall into the net, weeping bitterly,
And when quaffing the cup of foaming wine
Shall drain only dregs,
And shall be consumed in their iniquity,
And their riches shall not profit them,
And all they build shall be upset
As though overthrown by strangers.
And the God of the ages will abhor the man of blood
And will break the haughty
Like a potters vessel,
And will bring low their pride
And silence their psaltery
And make their voice sound
Like a ghost from the dust,
And demolish their battlements
And their houses of pleasure,
And make over their inheritance
To strangers and aliens, p. 59
And the gadfly shall sting them
To determined destruction,
And they shall be trodden of passers-by
Like a ground or a street.
Therefore turn ye from them and their counsels,
Nor vie with them
Lest your fate be as that of these arrogant.