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


O my God, I know that those who implore
favour from Thee
Have for ambassadors their antecedent virtues,
And the righteousness which they have heaped up,
But in me are no good deeds,
For I am shaken and emptied like a stripped vine,
And I have no righteousness, no rectitude,
No piety, no uprightness,
No prayer, no plea,
No innocence, no faith, p. 122
No justice, no quality of goodness,
Neither service of God nor turning from sin.
May it be Thy will, O Lord our God and God of our Fathers,
Master of the Worlds,
To have mercy upon me,
And be Thou near me,
To favour me with the visitation of Thy goodwill,
And to lift up to me the light of Thy face,
And to show me Thy graciousness!
Requite me not according to my deeds
And make me not a byword to the base.
Take me not away in the midst of my days
Nor hide Thy face from me.
Purify me from my sins,
And cast me not out from Thy presence,
But quicken me with glory
And with glory receive me afterwards.
And when Thou shalt bring me out of this world,
Bring me in peace to the life of the world to come,
And place me in glory among the saints,
And number me with those whose portion is appointed in the world of life
And purify me to shine in the light of Thy countenance,
And restore and revive me
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth. p. 123
Then will I say:
I thank Thee, O Lord, that though wroth with me,
Thine anger is turned away and Thou hast comforted me.
Thine, O Lord, is loving-kindness
In all the goodness Thou hast bestowed on me,
And which Thou wilt bestow till the day of my death.
And for all this it behooves me to give thanks,
To laud, to glorify, to extol Thee.
By the mouth of Thy creatures O yield Thyself praise,
By those hallowing Thee be Thou self-sanctified,
Through those owning Thy Unity cry Thou Thy oneness,
With the lips of Thy glorifiers chant Thee Thy glory,
And exalt Thee in rhapsody through Thine exalters,
Supremely upborne on Thy worshippers’ breath,
For ’mid the gods and their works, O Lord,
there is none like to Thee and Thine.


May this word of my mouth and my heart’s true thought
Find, O Rock and Redeemer, the favour sought