Lord of the World

by Solomon ibn Gabirol

English version by Israel Zangwill
Original Language Hebrew

Lord of the world, He reigned alone
     While yet the universe was naught.
     When by His will all things were wrought.
Then first his sovran Name was known.

And when the All shall cease to be,
     In dread lone splendour He shall reign,
     He was, He is, He shall remain
In glorious eternity.

For He is one, no second shares
     His nature or His loneliness;
     Unending and beginningless,
All strength is His, all sway He bears.

He is the living God to save,
     My Rock while sorrow's toils endure,
     My banner and my stronghold sure,
The cup of life whene'er I crave.

I place my soul within His palm
     Before I sleep as when I wake,
     And though my body I forsake,
Rest in the Lord in fearless calm.

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

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Lord of the World