Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
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Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
 
The Living God
By Abraham Ibn Ezra (Trans. Alice Lucas)
 
I THIRST for God, to Him my soul aspires,
The living God it is my heart’s desires.
 
The living God created me
To life. Yea, as I live, spake He,
No living man my face shall see,        5
Shall see my face and live.
 
He fashioned all with counsel wise
And purpose wonderful that lies
For ever hidden from our eyes,
The eyes of all who live.        10
 
Supreme o’er all His glory reigns,
Extolled on earth in holy strains,
Blessed is He whose hand maintains
The soul of all who live.
 
He separated Israel’s seed        15
To teach them statutes, which indeed
If that a man do hear and heed,
His soul by them shall live.
 
Can pure and just themselves declare
They who of dust created were?        20
Lo, in Thy sight, O Lord, we dare
Call no man just who lives.
 
Like serpent’s poison venomous,
The sinful passion dwells in us,
Can then from evil cankerous        25
Be any free that live?
 
But they the cords of sin who break
May yet the evil path forsake,
Ere in that house their rest they take,
That waits for all who live.        30
 
Call us in mercy unto Thee
Again Thy witnesses to be,
O Thou, who openest graciously
Thy hand to all that live.
 
 
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