He Dwells Forever
Solomon Ibn Gabirol

Thy kingdom is a kingdom for all ages.

He dwells forever, exalted, alone,
and no one comes near him
                    whose kingdom is One-
from the light of his garment he fashioned his world
    within three words that are sealed.

He yearned, longing for the teacher's counsel;
thought to reveal the ten spheres and their circles;
and against them inscribed
                    ten without end-
    and five against five now depend.

Who fathoms the mystery is shaken with fear.
From this he discerns who's beyond all compare.
Prior to "One" - what does one number?
                    He's prime to all primes-
    and to all that's exalted he's higher.

For the ten are as-
                    if caught in a siege.
Who dwells upon them knows and sees:
He's the Creator and within them rules.
    His witnesses' claims are made clear.

And so by means of the twenty-two letters,
he stretched out fire at the uppermost border;
    at the lower extension he gathered water;
and he sent out between them the wind of measure,
    and set the twelve constellations aloft.

It's he who brought forth Being from Nothing,
    and then from Chaos substance was formed;
he set up huge pillars beyond comprehension,
established an azure and inlaid circumference-
    the abysmal waters flow forth from its stones.

He fixed six-directions sealed with his Name:
From water hurled fire with heavenly strength;
he established within them
        his host and his throne
    for signs and seasons and days.

His Name which is raised and borne over all
    he placed in all with desire and labor;
the earth he hung like grapes in a cluster;
from his lofty place he's the place of all:
    The Lord is a Rock everlasting.

On the upper spirit he established his throne,
where his kingdom's glory is eternally home;
there is dominion
        over all is defined:
    for the spirit of God is Life beyond time.

High above all, and of all the strongest,
he sees the cosmos, and over all watches;
above all holds sway,
        surrounds all there is;
    by means of his Name all creatures exist.

He fashioned all with a blemishless word;
he alone leads, he's instantly heard;
the Lord carries all
        without growing weary-
    within their own wisdom he captures the wise.

He gives revolution to the belt of the skies;
it's he who suspends earth's lands where they lie.
He says: Let there be ...
        and it is by his might:
    All that's hidden he brings to light.

It's he who parts and he who gathers;
he who enriches then brings on disaster;
he who crushes
        and he who congeals-
    he who gives form to matter revealed.

Know that it's he who brings light and shadow;
he who exalts
        then he who brings low;
he who swells and he who collapses
    the greatest of mountains and hills;

he who brings
        subsistence to men;
he who ripples their fields with grain;
he who gives them water to drink;
    it's he who brings down the rain;

and he who gives life to men of the world;
he who gives strength
        to the frame of a child;
he who over our sinew sends skin;
    he who lengthens our bones within;

he who breathes through the body his breath;
he who keeps it upright in health;
he who deep
        into earth returns it;
    and he who will wake us from sleep.

Quoted after: Cole, Peter (Trans.) (2001). Selected Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol. Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press. P.126-8.

Last updated: 2003/10/23