Oct 102012
 

Like a lot of mystical piyut, this poem is framed as a conversation between two lovers (the model for which is of course the Song of Songs). And like any good mystical poetry, whether by Jewish Kabbalists or Muslim Sufis, the ecstasy of the divine encounter is expressed as a heady combination of the frankly erotic, the puzzlingly esoteric, and the slightly drunken. Since English isn’t gendered in the manner of Hebrew, I’ve set the female speaker’s lines in italics.

Shalom Shabazi (1619 – 1720?)
Graceful Doe

A graceful doe supports me in exile
And here in her bosom she’ll lodge me.
To drink from her cup I am always prepared,
She mingles her wine with my lees.
Before me, my friends, drink and be drunk,
Rouse the reason that’s sleeping within me.
There in her palace sits the daughter of kings,
Her table ready for those who are with me.
For every lover there comes a time to part,
But with ardor my love shall recall me.
He adorns his lady with grace and with kindness,
In paths of grace and of kindness he leads me.

For my beloved I spread out the clouds of the heavens,
My desire she never denies me.
Fifty are her gates, solid and firm, and with
The favor of Leah her wisdom sustains me.
She arouses Rachel’s love for her children,
Unto the tenth kingdom’s secret she’ll raise me.
God, hasten to bring unto thine people salvation,
And may my tongue be made pure within me.
Thy great peace shall encompass those whole of heart,
The sons of the pure man, a charm unto thee.

שלום שבזי / سالم الشبزي
איילת חן

 
אַיֶלֶת חֵן בְּגָלוּת תִּסְמְכֵנִי
וּבַלַּיְלָה בְּתוֹךְ חֵיקָהּ מְלוֹנִי
לְכוֹס יֵינָהּ אֲנִי תָּמִיד מְזוּמָּן
וְנִתְעָרַב חֲמַד יֵינָהּ בְּיֵינִי
שְׁתוּ דוֹדִים לְעוּמָּתִי וְשִׁכְרוּ
וְהָעִירוּ לְשֵׂכֶל רַעֲיוֹנִי
בְּהֵיכַל בַּת מְלָכִים הַכְּבוּדָה
וְשׁוּלְחָנָהּ מְזוּמָּן לַהֲמוֹנִי
זְמָן הִפְרִיד לְכָל רֵעִים וְדוֹדִים
אֲבָל דּוֹדִי בְּאַהֲבָה יִזְכְּרֵנִי
יְקַשֵּׁר חֵן וְחֶסֶד עַל גְּבֶרֶת
בְּמַעְגַּל חֵן וְחֶסֶד יִמְשְׁכֵנִי
מְפַרְשֵׁז בַּעֲנַן עָבֵי שְׁחָקִים
לְרַעְיָתִי וְהִיא תָפִיק רְצוֹנִי
שְׁעָרֶיהָ חֲמִשִּׁים הֵם קְבוּעִים
זְכוּת לֵאָה בְּבִינָה תִסְעֲדֵנִי
תְּעוֹרֵר אַהֲבַת רָחֵל לְבָנִים
בְּסוֹד מַלְכוּת עֲשִׂירִית תַּעֲלֵנִי
אֱלֹהִים חִישׁ לְעַמֶּךָ יְשׁוּעָה
בְּעֵת רָצוֹן תְּצַחְצֵחַ גְּרוֹנִי
שְׁלוּמֵי לֵב בְּרוֹב שָלוֹם תְּסוֹבֵב
בְּנֵי אִישׁ תָּם סְגוּלַת אַב הֲמוֹנִי
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

‘Ayélet ḥein be-galút tismekhéini
U-ve-láilah be-tókh ḥeikáh meloní
Le-khós yeináh ‘aní tamíd mezumán
Ve-nitʕaréiv ḥemád yeináh be-yeiní
Shetú dodím le-ʕumatí ve-shikhrú
Ve-haʕíru le-séikhel raʕayoní
Be-heikhál bat melakhím ha-kevudáh
Ve-shulḥanáh mezumán la-hamoní
Zemán hifríd le-khól reiʕím ve-dodím
‘Avál dodí be-‘ahaváh yizkeréini
Yekashér ḥein ve-ḥesed ʕal gevéret
Be-maʕgál ḥein ve-ḥesed yimshekhéini
Mefarshéiz ba-ʕanán ʕavéi sheḥakím
Le-raʕyatí ve-hí tafík retzoní
Sheʕaréha ḥamishím heim kevuʕím
Zekhút lei’áh be-vináh tisʕadéini
Teʕoréir ‘ahavát raḥeil le-vaním
Be-sód malkhút ʕasirít taʕaléini
‘Elohím ḥish le-ʕamékha yeshuʕáh
Be-ʕéit ratzón tetzaḥtzéiaḥ geroní
Sheluméi leiv be-róv shalóm tesovéiv
Benéi ‘ish tam segulát ‘av hamoní

  5 Responses to “Shalom Shabazi, “Ayelet Ḥein””

  1. Great !!! I love the poem !!

  2. A great poem !!!

  3. Blessings !!!

  4. .شكرا جزيلا يا أخي

  5. Thank you ! I am blessed !

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