You are wise (from From Kingdom's Crown)

by Solomon ibn Gabirol

English version by Peter Cole
Original Language Hebrew

You are wise,
and wisdom is a fountain and source
     of life welling up from within you,

and men are too coarse to know you.

You are wise,
and prime to all that's primeval,
     as though you were wisdom's tutor.

You are wise,
but your wisdom wasn't acquired
     and didn't derive from another.

You are wise,
and your wisdom gave rise to an endless desire
     in the world as within an artist or worker --

to bring out the stream of existence from Nothing,
     like light flowing from sight's extension --

drawing from the source of that light without vessel,
giving it shape without tools,
          hewing and carving,
     refining and making it pure:

He called to Nothing -- which split;
     to existence -- pitched like a tent;
     to the world -- as it spread beneath sky.

With desire's span He established the heavens,
as His hand coupled the tent of the planets
          with loops of skill,
     weaving creation's pavilions,

the links of His will
reaching the lowest
     rung of creation --

the curtain
at the outermost edge of the spheres...

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

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You are wise (from