Shlomo ibn Gabirol

(1021-1055 / Spain)

The Redemption - Poem by Shlomo ibn Gabirol

The despoiled and dispersed Thou shalt gather to Zion,
Restoring the slaves who were sold without fee,
And the priests to their ritual robes, while the scion
Of families ruling shall once more be free
To carol, high God, his thanksgiving to Thee.

To the heathen a banner to raise Thou wilt hasten,
Thou shalt strengthen and gird up the loins that we trust,
And the suppliants whom Thy dispersal did chasten
Thou wilt raise as of yore from captivity's dust,
The breastplate of righteousness clothing the just.

My impudent foe seeks my life-faith to sever,
To my face he enquires how long yet wilt thou wait,
But I am afflicted, not cast off for ever,
For my God is the help of the low in estate,
Protecting the poor as He humbles the great.

His heritage shall to the exile be given,
And a strong hand the sick and the punished replace,
The abased and abandoned, by every fang riven,
Shall their freshness renew by the patriarchs' grace
And the strangers be scorched like a tropical place.

Translated by Israel Zangwill

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 16, 2010

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