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אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם (ספרד)‏ | Adon Olam, rhyming translation by Rosa Emma Salaman (1855)

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר מָלַךְ
בְּטֶֽרֶם כׇּל־יְצִיר נִבְרָא׃
לְעֵת נַֽעֲשָׂה כְּחֶפְצוֹ כֹּל
אֲזַי מֶֽלֶךְ שְׁמוֹ נִקְרָא׃
Before Thy heavenly Word revealed the wonders of Thy will;
Before the earth and heavens came forth from chaos, deep and still;
E’en then thou reignedst, Lord, supreme! as Thou wilt ever reign,
And moved Thy holy spirit o’er the dark unfathom’d main.

וְאַֽחֲרֵי כִּכְלּוֹת הַכֹּל
לְבַדּוֹ יִמְלֹךְ נוֹרָא׃
וְהוּא הָיָה וְהוּא הֹוֶה
וְהוּא יִֽהְיֶה בְּתִפְאֲרָה׃
But when through all the empty space Thy mighty voice was heard,
Then darkness fled, and heavenly light came beaming at Thy word;
All nature then proclaimed Thee King, most blessed and adored!
The great Creator! God alone! —the Universal Lord!

וְהוּא אֶחָד וְאֵין שֵׁנִי
לְהַמְשִׁיל לוֹ לְהַחְבִּירָה׃
בְּלִי רֵאשִׁית בְּלִי תַּכְלִית
וְלוֹ הָעֹז וְהַמִּשְׂרָה׃
And when this vast created world returns to endless night,
When heaven and earth shall fade away at Thy dread word of might;
Still Thou in Majesty wilt rule, Almighty One alone,
Great God, with mercy infinite, on Thy exalted throne.

בְּלִי עֵֽרֶךְ בְּלִי דִמְיוֹן
בְּלִי שִׁנּוּי וְהַתְּמוּרָה׃
בְּלִי חִבּוּר בְּלִי פֵרוּד
גְּדׇל־כֹּחַ וְהַגְּבוּרָה׃
Immortal Power! Eternal One! with Thee what can compare?
Thy glory shines in heaven and earth, and fills the ambient air;
All time, all space, by Thee illumed, grows bright and brighter still,
Obedient to Thy high behest, and to Thy heavenly will.

וְהוּא אֵלִי וְחַי גּֽוֹאֲלִי
וְצוּר חֶבְלִי בְּיוֹם צָרָה׃
וְהוּא נִסִּי וּמָנוֹס לִי
מְנָת כּוֹסִי בְּיוֹם אֶקְרָא׃
To Thee dominion sole belongs, and ’tis to Thee alone,
My Father! Saviour! Living God! I make my sorrows known.
Thy lore celestial and divine descends upon my heart,
Inspiring courage, hope, and joy, and bidding grief depart.

בְּיָדוֹ אַפְקִיד רוּחִי
בְּעֵת אִישַׁן וְאָעִֽירָה׃
וְעִם רוּחִי גְּוִיָּתִי
אֲדֹנָי לִי וְלֹא אִירָא׃
Protected by Thy boundless love, my body sinks to rest;
My soul, within Thy heavenly arm reposes, calm and blest,
Lord of my life! in darkest night I sleep and have no fear,
And in the early dawn of day I wake, and find Thee near.

“Adon Olam” is a piyyut that became popular in the 15th century and is often attributed to Solomon ibn Gabirol (1021–1058) and less often to Sherira Gaon (900-1001), or his son, Hai ben Sherira Gaon (939-1038). The variation of the piyyut appearing here is the 12 line version familiar to Sepharadi congregations. (There are also fifteen and sixteen line variants found in Sepharadi siddurim. The Ashkenazi version has ten lines.) The free translation by Rosa Emma Salaman (a/k/a “Mrs. Julius Collins”) appearing here was transcribed from the English edition of Imrei Lev (ed. Hester Rothschild, 1855/1859).

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