Gazing Through the Night

Gazing Through the Night

Gazing through the
night and its stars,

or the grass and its bugs,

I know in my heart these swarms
are the craft of surpassing wisdom.

Think: the skies
resemble a tent,
stretched taut by loops
and hooks;

and the moon with its stars,
a shepherdess,
on a meadow
grazing her flock;

and the crescent hull in the looser clouds

looks like a ship being tossed;

a whiter cloud, a girl
in her garden
tending her shrubs;

and the dew coming down is her sister
shaking water
from her hair onto the path;

as we
settle in our lives,

like beasts in their ample stalls —

fleeing our terror of death,
like a dove
its hawk in flight —

though we’ll lie in the end like a plate,
hammered into dust and shards.

by Samuel ha Nagid
English version by Peter Cole
Original Language Hebrew

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