Before I was, Thy mercy came to meby Solomon ibn Gabirol
English version by Bernard Lewis
Original Language Hebrew
Before I was, Thy mercy came to me,
inverting void and being Thou madest me to be.
Who wrought my image, poured my essence
into the crucible and gave me shape?
Who breathed a soul into me
opened the belly of Sheol and took me out?
Who led me from childhood until here?
Who taught me to understand, caused me to marvel?
Indeed I am clay in Thy hand.
Thou didst make me, in truth, not I myself.
I shall confess my sins, and not say to Thee
"The serpent deceived me and led me astray."
How can I hide my guilt from Thee? For indeed
before I was, Thy mercy came to me.
|-- from Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems, Translated by Bernard Lewis|