hen (1) even nothingness was not, nor existence. (2)
There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it.
What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping?
Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?
Then there were neither death nor immortality,
nor was there then the torch of night and day.
The One (3) breathed mindlessly and self-sustaining. (4)
There was that One then, and there was no other.
At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness.
All this was only unillumined water. (5)
That One which came to bc, enclosed in nothing,
arose at last, born of the power of heat. (6)
In the beginning desire descended on it-
that was the primal seed, born of the mind.
The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom
know that which is, is kin (7) to that which is not.
And they have stretched their cord across the void,
and know what was above, and what below.
Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces.
Below was strength, and over it was impulse. (8)
But, after all, who knows, and who can say
whence it all came, and how creation happened?
The gods themselves are later than creation,
so who knows truly whence it has arisen?
Whence all creation had its origin,
he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows or maybe even he does not know.