From the beginning, before the world ever was (from Before the World Ever Was)

by Nachmanides (Moses ben Nachman)

English version by Peter Cole
Original Language Hebrew

From the beginning, before the world ever was,
I was held on high with his hidden treasures.
He brought me forth from nothing and in
     the end I will be withdrawn by the King.

My being flowed from the spheres' foundation,
which endowed it with form in evident fashion.
The craftsmen's hands weighed its creation,
     so I would be brought to the vaults of the King.

He appeared to reveal what once he concealed,
on the left and on the right as well.
He sent me down the stairway leading
     from Siloam's pool to the groves of the King.

I was formed from dust, though your breath in me burns.
You've known this stranger's thoughts in these lands.
How long, my soul, until you return
     and meet with approval before your King?

-- from The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492, Edited by Peter Cole

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Recommended Books: Nachmanides (Moses ben Nachman)

The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition The Holy Letter: A Study in Jewish Sexual Morality The Theology of Nahmanides Systematically Presented
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From the beginning