Nov 032012

I’ve made an emendation to the vowelling of the Ben Yehuda Project’s version of this poem: I changed the first word from בְּנַפְשִׁי to בְּנָפְשִׁי, which changes its meaning from “in my soul” to, more or less, “during the time I was relaxing/resting/spending time pleasurably.” Without the emendation, I can’t make much sense of it. If I’m wrong, please let me know. I feel pretty right, though. And how often does that happen?

Moshe ibn Ezra (1060? – 1140?)
As I Whiled Away A Most Amorous Night

As I whiled away a most amorous night
 The sun of my joy blazed in spite of the hour
The words of my fawn were my sweetness by night
 His lips were my cup, his saliva my nectar
His glorious face was my own field of lilies
 The curves of his cheeks seemed like branches of myrtle
Whenever his two eyes would tear at my heart
 I’d flee straightaway to the balm of his palate.

משה אבן עזרא / موسى ابن عزرا
בנפשי ליל ידידות

בְּנָפְשִׁי לֵיל יְדִידֹת זָֽרְחָה־בּוֹ / עֲלֵי־אַף הַזְּמָן שֶׁמֶשׁ מְשׂוֹשִׂי
בְּלֵיל הָיָה דְבַר עָפְרִי כְּמִגְדִּי / וּפִיו כּוֹסִי וְיֵין רֻקּוֹ עֲסִיסִי
וְהוֹד פָּנָיו כְּשׁוֹשַׁנַּי וְטוּרֵי / לְחָיָיו נֶחְשְׁבוּ עַנְפֵי הֲדַסִּי
וְהָעֵת יִשְּׁכוּ עֵינָיו לְבָבִי / מְהֵרָה אֶל־צְרִי חִכּוֹ מְנוּסִי.


Be-nofshí leil yedidót zarḥáh-bo / ʕaléi-‘af ha-zemán shémesh mesosí
Be-léil hayáh devár ʕofrí ke-migdí / u-fív kosí ve-yéin rukó ʕasisí
Ve-hód panáv ke-shoshanái ve-turéi / leḥayáv neḥshevú ʕanféi hadasí
Ve-ha-ʕéit yishekhú ʕeináv levaví / meheiráh el-tzerí ḥikó menusí.

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