May 172014

Our first Algerian poet, and actually our first North African poet period, unless you want to count the Andalusi poets who drifted from time to time over the Strait of Gibraltar. A cousin of the Sa`adiah Gaon and a prominent early Hebrew and Arabic linguist. This poem isn’t strictly metered in Hebrew, but each divine quality, arranged in an acrostic, has some alliterative counterpart on the other side of the caesura.

Yehuda ibn Quraysh (10th century)
Whose Is the Faith

Whose is all the faith? / Is it not him who holds all the secrets of Earth?
Whose is all creation? / Is it not the creator of the ends of the Earth?
Whose is all the might? / Is it not him who triumphs over the sweep of the Earth?
Whose is all the wisdom? / Is it not him walks on the heights of the Earth?
Whose is all the splendor? / Is it not God in his heavens and over the Earth?
Whose is all the glory? / Is it not him whose shine lights the corners of Earth?
Whose is all the song? / Is not him who keeps his covenant with all flesh on Earth?
Whose is all the mercy? / Is it not the Lord whose mercies fill all the Earth?
Whose is all the goodness? / Is it not him good to all every day of the Earth?
Whose is all the worth? / Is it not him whose hand built the pillars of Earth?
Whose is all the honor? / Is it not him for whose honor is the fullness of Earth?
Whose is all the garb of strength? / Is it not him who owns both the heavens and Earth?
Whose is all the kingship? / Is it not the great king over all of the Earth?
Whose is all the infinite? / Is it not him held in awe by the kings of Earth?
Whose are all the praises? / Is it not him who set laws over heaven and Earth?
Whose is all the wonder? / Is it not the agent of salvation in the midst of the Earth?

יהודה אבן קורייש / يهوذا ابن قريش
למי האמונה

כָּל הָאֱמוּנָה לְמִי הִיא / הֲלֹא לַאֲשֶר בְּיָדוֹ מֶחְקְרֵי אָרֶץ
כָּל הַבְּרִיאָה לְמִי הִיא / הֲלֹא לְבוֹרֵא קְצוֹת הָאָרֶץ
כָּל הַגְּבוּרָה לְמִי הִיא / הֲלֹא לְגָאֹה גָּאָה עַל חוּג הָאָרֶץ
כָּל הַדַּעַת לְמִי הִיא / הֲלֹא לְדֹרֵךְ עַל בָּמֳתֵי אָרֶץ
כָּל הֶהָדָר לְמִי הוּא / הֲלֹא לְהוּא אֱלֹהִים בַּשָּמַיִם מִמַּעַל וְעַל הָאָרֶץ
כָּל וְהַהוֹד לְמִי הוּא / הֲלֹא לִוְאוֹרוֹ עַל כַּנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ
כָּל הַזִּמְרָה לְמִי הִיא / הֲלֹא לְזֹכֵר בְּרִית לְכָל בָּשָׂר אֲשֶר עַל הָאָרֶץ
כָּל הַחֶסֶד לְמִי הוּא / הֲלֹא לְחֶסֶד אֲדֹנָי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ
כָּל הַטּוֹבָה לְמִי הִיא / הֲלֹא לְטוֹב לַכֹּל עוֹד כָּל יְמֵי הָאָרֶץ
כָּל הַיְקָר לְמִי הוּא / הֲלֹא לְיָדוֹ יָסְדָה אָרֶץ
כָּל הַכָּבוֹד לְמִי הוּא / הֲלֹא לִכְבוֹדוֹ מְלֹא כָּל הָאָרֶץ
כָּל הַלְּבוּש עֹז לְמִי הוּא / הֲלֹא לְלוֹ שָמַיִם אַף לוֹ אָרֶץ
כָּל הַמְלוּכָה לְמִי הִיא / הֲלֹא לְמֶלֶך גָּדוֹל עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ
כָּל הַנֵצַח לְמִי הוּא / הֲלֹא לְנוֹרא לְמַלְכֵי אָרֶץ
כָּל הַסִּלְסוּל לְמִי הוּא / הֲלֹא לְשָׂם חֻקּוֹת שָמַיִם וָאָרֶץ
כָּל הַפֶּלֶא לְמִי הוּא / הֲלֹא לְפֹעֵל יְשוּעוֹת בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ


Kol ha-’emunáh le-mí hi? / Ha-ló la-‘ashér be-yadó meḥqaréi ha-‘áretz?
Kol ha-beri’áh le-mí hi? / Ha-ló le-voréi qetzót ha-‘áretz?
Kol ha-gevuráh le-mí hi? / Ha-ló le-ga’óh ga’áh ʕal ḥug ha-‘áretz?
Kol ha-dáʕat le-mí hi? / Ha-ló le-doréikh ʕal bamotéi ‘áretz?
Kol ha-hadár le-mí hu? / Ha-ló le-hú ‘elohím ba-shamáyim mi-maʕál ve-ʕál ha-‘áretz?
Kol ha-hód le-mí hu? / Ha-ló liv’oró ʕal kanfót ha-‘áretz?
Kol ha-zimráh le-mí hi? / Ha-ló le-zokhéir berít le-khól basár ‘ashér ʕal ha-‘áretz?
Kol ha-ḥésed le-mí hu? / Ha-ló le-ḥésed ‘adonái mal’áh ha-‘áretz?
Kol ha-továh le-mí hi? / Ha-ló le-tóv la-kól ʕod kol yeméi ha-‘áretz?
Kol ha-yeqár le-mí hu? / Ha-ló le-yadó yasdáh ‘áretz?
Kol ha-kavód le-mí hu? / Ha-ló likhvodó meló kol ha-‘áretz?
Kol ha-levúsh ʕoz le-mí hu? / Ha-ló le-ló shamáyim ‘af lo ‘áretz?
Kol ha-melukháh le-mí hi? / Ha-ló le-mélekh gadól ʕal kol ha-‘áretz?
Kol ha-néitzaḥ le-mí hu? / Ha-ló le-norá le-malkhéi ‘áretz?
Kol ha-silsúl le-mí hu? / Ha-ló le-sám ḥuqót shamáyim va-‘áretz?
Kol ha-péle le-mí hi? / Ha-ló le-foʕéil yeshuʕót be-qérev ha-‘áretz?

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