Shlomo ibn Gabirol

(1021-1055 / Spain)

O God, My Sun - Poem by Shlomo ibn Gabirol

O God, my Sun, up now and rise, I pray thee,
And be as the moon to illumine my darkness:
Wherefore wilt Thou play the passing wayfarer
And vanish like the fleeing gazelle?
When shall the bud come to blossom,
And the tender grape yield its sweet savour?
How long wilt Thou cast off the remnants of Joseph?
I was as a lamb led to the slaughter,
One man drawing me from the fold and another performing the sacrifice.
The lion rose murderous against me,
And the wild ass breaketh my bones.
The wild boar tore me, breathing fury,
Pushing westwards and northwards.

Dread God, who hast stretched out the heavens,
Who closest and none can open,
Now at last reprove kings for my sake--
For far be it from Thee to be forgetful!--
Thou shalt bring forth my prisoners from the pit:
For the sake of our hero-ancestor's righteousness,
And shalt cleave the crown of the woman of Uz
And shave off the hair of Esau.

Take the young brood and prosper them,
But do not let go the mother.
O restore the maiden in her beautiful freshness,
And fill with moisture all that is withered.
Renew the Temple and the altar
And establish singing men for Thy praise;
One to glow with a song of loves,
And one to make melody for the chief musician.
Thus wilt Thou cause the horn of the Messiah to shoot up,
And I shall be wholly joyful.

Translated by Israel Zangwill

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 16, 2010

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