Prompted by this nice but rather free translation of Borges' "El Golem", here's my attempt. I tried to be as literal as possible; I've changed some words that were obviously chosen by Borges not for their meaning but to preserve the rhyme ("soga" in the eleventh stanza, for instance, is rather gratuitous).
If (as one Greek states in the Cratyle) the name is archetype for the thing, in the letters for rose is the rose and all of the Nile in the word Nile. So, made of consonants and vowels, there'd be a terrible Name, the essence of God its cipher, that Omnipotence guards in letters and syllables full. Adam and the stars knew it in the Garden. Sin's stain (so the kabbalists say) erased it and the many generations lost it. The cunning and candor of man have no end. We know that in their day God's own people searched for the Name in the small hours of the Jewry. Unlike that of some other vague shadow betrayed in vague history, there is still fresh and living memory of Judah Loew, a rabbi in Prague. Thirsty to see what God would see, Judah Loew gave in to permutations with letters in such complex variations that he at last uttered the Name that is Key. Portal, Echo, Host and Palace, upon a doll with clumsy hands he engraved, and taught it the strands of Word, of Time and Space. Through dreamy lids was this likeness confounded by forms and colors, utterly mixed in subtle rumors and made its first timid movements. By small degrees, like us it was imprisoned in this resounding net of Before, After, Yesterday, While, Now, Left, Right, I, You, Them, Others. (The kabbalist that gave it home this vast creature nicknamed Golem; these truths are told by Scholem in a learned passage of his tome.) The rabbi taught to it the universe "My foot, and yours; here is a clog." After some years this thing perverse could sweep, well or not, the Synagogue. It could have been a miswriting, or an error uttering the Holy Name; despite so high a spell, it did not learn to speak, this apprentice of man. Its eyes, less a man's than a dog's and so much less of dog than of thing, tracked the rabbi through the trembling shadows of their closed quarters. Something odd and crude was in the Golem, since out of its way the rabbi's cat scurried. (This cat is not in Scholem but, across time, I can glimpse that.) Raising its pious hands to God it mimed his God's devotions or, dull and smiling, it sank in hollow oriental genuflections. The rabbi looked upon it with pride and with some horror. How (he mused) could I give birth to a pitiful son and lose the sanity of inaction? Why did I add yet another symbol to the infinite Series? Why bring to the vain skein spun by eternity another cause, another effect and pain? In that hour of dread and blurred light, his eyes lingered on his Golem. Who will tell us, what did God feel, looking upon His rabbi in Prague?
I'm extremely thankful to psykotic whose input (there over reddit) was invaluable. Without it this would be much worse than it is now.