Selected Religious Poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol, tr. by Israel Zangwill, , at sacred-texts.com
Unworthy am I of all the mercies and all the truth
Which Thou hast wrought for Thy servant.
Verily, O Lord my God, will I thank Thee
For that Thou hast given me a holy soul,
Though by my deeds I have defiled it,
Polluted and profaned it with my evil inclination.
But I know that if I wrought wickedly,
I harmed but myself, never Thee.
In sooth, at my right hand my fierce inclination
As an adversary standeth,
Allowing me no breathing-space to establish my tranquillity.
Oft have I purposed with double bridle to lead him,
From the sea of his lusts to dry land to restore him,
But I could not prevail.
My devices he baulked, made profanities flow from my lips.
I think thoughts of simplicity, he fabricates guile and iniquity,
I am for peace, and he is for war,
To the point that he made me his footstool,
And even in peace-time shed the blood of war.
How oft have I sallied forth to combat against him,
And set in battle-array
My camp of service and repentance,
And placed the host of Thy mercies beside me for auxiliary, p. 114
For I said, if my evil inclination
Shall come to one camp and shall smite it,
Then the camp that is left shall escape.
As I thought, so it was.
For temptation has routed me and scattered my forces,
So that there is nothing left me but the camp of Thy mercies.
But yet I know that by these I shall overcome it,
And they shall be unto me better than a city of refuge.
Peradventure I shall prevail and smite it and drive it away.