The amulet of souls, to Him I cry,
On tongues whose praises as swords' lustre lie,*
For from His Name the tongue its object gains,*
And dew from fountain of His grace obtains.
Through Whom to wisdom do themselves declare
A thousand subtle points fine as a hair.
For that hair's sake the tongue a comb is made,
The teeth in order as the comb's teeth laid.
The Highest God, eternal wisdom, hail!
Strength to the weak to give Who dost not fail;
To heaven's host* with stars Who givest light,
The earth with men as stars Who makest bright;
Of elements upon the four walls based,
Of the revolving sphere the vault hast placed;
The musk-bag on the rosebud's navel bound,
Round beauteous rose-bush rosy jewels wound;
For brides of spring Who hast fine raiment wrought,
The cypress on the stream its stature taught,
Who dost the lofty wind with grandeur crown,
And him himself who fancies castest down,—
To drunkards of the cup dost pardon give,
And back to Grace old hypocrites receive;
Their friend the night who watchful pass away,
His comrade who in labour spends the day,—
Of ocean of Whose Grace the spring-cloud born
Gives water to both jessamine and thorn;
The autumn wind from Whose mine's bounty-store
Rich scatters gold upon the meadow's floor,—
Who with His sweets the good man's palate fills
Poison in bitter-tongued one's joy distils.
His own existence is the brilliant sun,
Whence for each separate atom light is won.
From sun and moon His face should He e'er hide,
Their ball to non-existence would subside.
He is, and gave us being in His Grace,
Our non-existence did with life replace.
By hundred paths of fancy or of sense
From deepest earth up to the heav'n immense,
Should men ascend, or hurry down with speed,*
The least from His command are they not freed.
His essence from all “How” and “Why” is free,
Far freer than or low or high may be.*
From His divinity are “How” and “Why,”
Before His majesty low are the high.
Before Him wisdom aye perplexed remains,
Nor search upon His road a footing gains.*
Towards us should He not advance in Grace,
Each moment farther are we from His face.
When of His majesty the ringing cry,
In the eternal palace echoes high,
At their own folly are the angels vexed,
And at its own distraction heaven's perplexed.
'Twere better we, a handful steeped in lust,
Should from lust's mirror wipe away the rust,
Of our own being should forgetful be,
And henceforth sink of silence on the knee.