In Praise of God (from Avoda)

by Yose ben Yose

English version by T. Carmi
Original Language Hebrew

I shall proclaim the mighty deeds of God,
     who is glorious in power.
He alone is God
     and there is no other;
there is none besides Him,
     none second to him;
there will be none after Him on earth,
     there was none before Him in heaven;
there was none but He of old,
     nor shall there be in the end.
Lordly in thought, godly in action --
when He takes counsel, no one is absent;
when He orders, no one delays.
He speaks and does,
     designs and fulfills,
bearing the world with strength,
     carrying it with might.
He is celebrated in song by his creatures;
from above and below He is given praise.
The only God on earth,
     the Holy One in heaven,
     the Mighty One on high --
He receives songs from the waters,
     paeans from the deeps
     adoration from the luminaries,
     speech from the days,
     melody from the nights.
Fire shouts out His name,
     the trees of the forest sing for joy,
     the animals teach the might of his terrible acts.

-- from The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse, Edited by T. Carmi

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In Praise of God