Where Will I Find You

by Solomon ibn Gabirol

English version by Peter Cole
Original Language Hebrew

Where, Lord, will I find you:
your place is high and obscured.
     And where
          won't I find you:
     your glory fills the world.

You dwell deep within --
     you've fixed the ends of creation.
You stand, a tower for the near,
     refuge to those far off.
You've lain above the Ark, here,
     yet live in the highest heavens.
     Exalted among your hosts,
     although beyond their hymns --
          no heavenly sphere
               could ever contain you,
     let alone a chamber within.

In being home above them
     on an exalted throne,
you are closer to them
     than their breath and skin.
Their mouths bear witness for them
     that you alone gave them form.
     Your kingdom's burden in theirs;
     who wouldn't fear you?
     And who could fail
          to search for you --
     who sends down food when it is due?

I sought your nearness.
     With all my heart I called you.
And in my going out to meet you,
     I found you coming toward me,
as in the wonders of your might
     and holy works I saw you.
     Who would say he hasn't seen
     your glory as the heavens'
          hordes declare
               their awe of you
     without a sound being heard?

But could the Lord, in truth,
     dwell in men on earth?
How would men you made
     from the dust and clay
fathom your presence there,
     enthroned upon their praise?
     The creatures hovering over
     the world praise your wonders --
          your throne borne high
               above their heads,
     as you beat all forever.

-- from The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition, Edited by Peter Cole

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Where Will I Find