Cyprian Kamil Norwid

1821-1883 / Poland

To Emir Abd El Kader In Damascus

Praise of living virtuous men
Is like praising God himself,
And good news received with love
Is like the Ghost in Mary's womb.

Accept then, Sir, a distant tribute,
You, who are like a shield of God;
May an orphan's tears, a cripple's tears
Shine as baptism on your head.

The one God reigns from age to age,
None knows the measure of His favours;
He bids the nails drop from his wounds,
He orders stars to shine as spurs;

His foot is in the rainbow's stirrup,
He rides to Judgement day;
Who gave Him earth and sky ?
Who gave Him light and shade?

5 And if in tears of tortured men,
If in innocent maidens' blood,
If in the waking child,
There is only the one God,

Then let your tent be broader
Than David's cedar groves;
For of the Magi you were first
To mount your horse upon the hour !
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