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.
 
In the Height and Depth of His Burning
By Meshullam Ben Kalonymus (Trans. Israel Zangwill)
 
IN the height and depth of His burning,
  Where mighty He sits on the throne,
His light He unveils and His yearning
  To all who revere Him alone.
His promises never are broken,        5
  His greatness all measure exceeds;
Then exalt Him who gives you for token
  His marvellous deeds.
 
He marshals the planets unbounded,
  He numbers the infinite years;        10
The seat of His empire is founded
  More deep than the nethermost spheres;
He looks on the lands from His splendor;
  They tremble and quiver like reeds;
Then exalt ye in lowly surrender        15
  His marvellous deeds.
 
The worlds He upholds in their flying,
  His feet on the footstool of earth;
His word hath established undying
  Whatever His word brought to birth.        20
The ruler of hosts is His title;
  Then exalt Him in worshipful creeds,
Declaring in solemn recital
  His marvellous deeds.
 
He is master of all He created,        25
  Sublime in His circle of light;
His strength with His glory is mated,
  His greatness at one with His might.
So that Seraphim over Him winging,
  Obeying an angel that leads,        30
Unite in the rapture of singing
  His marvellous deeds.
 
His renown fills the heavenly spaces:
  The world He beholds to its ends:
His foes, who are mine, too, He chases;        35
  I count all who love Him my friends.
Exalted be therefore His glory,
  His praises be scattered as seeds,
Till all the world learns the great story,
  His marvellous deeds.        40
 
But of man—ah! the tale is another,
  His counsels are evil and vain:
He dwells with deceit as a brother,
  And the worm is the close of his reign.
Into earth he is carted and shovelled,        45
  And who shall recount or who heeds,
When above earth he strutted or grovelled,
  His marvellous deeds?
 
Not so God!—earth on nothing He founded,
  And on emptiness stretched out the sky;        50
With land the great waters He bounded,
  And bade all their breeds multiply.
In light He is clad as a raiment:
  His greatness no eulogy needs;
Yet exalt, ’tis your only repayment,        55
  His marvellous deeds.
 
 
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