To Emir Abd El Kader In Damascus

1
Praise of living virtuous men
Is like praising God himself,
And good news received with love
Is like the Ghost in Mary's womb.

2
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.

3
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;

4
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,

6
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 !

by Cyprian Kamil Norwid

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