Dec 312012
 

The elder of the brothers Frances, the terrible twosome of Baroque Italian Hebrew poetry. Maybe he’d just gotten out of a bad relationship or something. I don’t know, I don’t do apologetics. Only compilation, translation, transliteration, self-abnegation, and morphological rhyme.

Yaakov Frances (1615 – 1667)
Of Worthy Departures

Of worthy departures, there are only three
  For each woman, whether big or whether small.
The first is her birth day, when into this world
  Befouled with the filth of the depths she will crawl.
The second is when she departs her abode
  And goes to her groom and her husband’s own hall
The day that she’s brought to her grave is the third;
  Of these three, that’s the best one of all.

יעקב פראנשיס
לבד שלוש יציאות

 
לְבַד שָׁלשׁ יְצִיאוֹת הֵן רְאוּיוֹת / לְכָל־אִשָּׁה קְטַנָּה אוֹ גְדוֹלָה
וְאַחַת הִיא בְּהִוָּלְדָהּ וְצֵאתָהּ / מְלֻכְלֶכֶת כְּמוֹ מִיוֵן מְצוּלָה
וְהַשֵּׁנִית בְּצֵאת מִבֵּית נְוָתָהּ / וְהוֹלֶכֶת לְבֵית חָתָן וּבַעְלָהּ
וְיוֹם תּוּבַל לְקֶבֶר הַשְּׁלִישִׁית / וּמִכָּל־הַיְצִיאוֹת זאֹת מְעֻלָּה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Levád shalósh yetzi’ót hein re’uyót / le-khól ‘isháh ketanáh ‘o gedoláh
Ve-‘aḥát hi be-hivaldáh ve-tzeitáh / melukhlékhet kemó mivéin metzuláh
Ve-ha-sheinít be-tzéit me-béit nevatáh / ve-holékhet le-véit ḥatán u-vaʕláh
Ve-yóm tuvál le-kéver ha-shelishít / u-mi-kól ha-yetzi’ót zot meʕuláh.

Dec 302012
 

The saga continues. The fourth poem in the cycle. The last three are here, here and here.

Ephraim Luzzatto (1729 – 1792)
How Long Must I Wait

How long must I wait for the coming of night,
For my soul to be cheered by cold flakes of snow?
My strength’s as dry as a tree in the forest,
My bones have been beaten by heat waves and sun;
Yet just as a nomad I’ll wander the world,
Yearning in vain for the first fruits of summer.

אפרים לוצאטו
מתי יבוא

 
מָתַי יָבֹא, מָתַי יָבֹא הַלַּיְלָה,
וִישַׁעַשְׁעוּ נַפְשִׁי אֶגְלֵי הַשֶּׁלֶג?
הִנֵּה כֹחִי יָבֵשׁ כָּעֵץ בַּיַּעַר,
וַיַּךְ אֶת עַצְמוֹתַי שָׁרָב וָשֶׁמֶשׁ;
רַק נָע וָנָד הֵן אֶתְהַלֵּךְ בָּאָרֶץ,
לָרִיק יוֹם יוֹם שׁוֹאֵף בִּכּוּרֵי קַיִץ.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Matái yavó, matái yavó ha-láilah,
Vishaʕasheʕú nafshí ‘egléi shéleg?
Híneih khoḥí yavéish ka-ʕéitz ba-yáʕar,
Va-yákh ‘et ʕatzmotái sharáv va-shémesh;
Rak naʕ va-nád hein ‘ethaléikh ba-‘áretz,
La-rík yom yom sho’éif bikuréi káyitz.

Dec 292012
 

It’s yet another poem. I don’t know. I don’t have anything clever to say.

Yosef Tzarfati (? – 1527)
The Light and Flashes of Your Eyes

Arrows are the light and flashes of your eyes,
And the brows above are tautly drawn bows,
And to puncture all the suitors that arise
All too eager every moment they stand posed.
Half their number day by day demolished dies,
Thousands pass away because their wounds won’t close.
Your hard heart’s fiercer than the cruelest rival,
To be your love leaves no hope for survival.

יוסף צרפתי
מאור עינך

 
מְאוֹר עֵינֵךְ וְנִיצוֹצָיו חֲצָצִים
וְגַבּוֹתָיו קְשָׁתוֹת הֵם דְּרוּכוֹת
וְלִפְרֹץ בַּחֲשׁוּקַיִךְ פְּרָצִים
בְּכָל־עֵת הֵם עֲלֵי־יֶתֶר עֲרוּכוֹת
לְמַחְצָם נוֹפְלִים יוֹם יוֹם רְצוּצִים
רְבָבוֹת גֹּוְעִים מֵאֵין אֲרוּכוֹת
וְלִבֵּךְ צַר וְעַז מִצַּר וְאַכְזָר
וּמִמֵּךְ אֵין יְדִיד נִצַּל וְנֶעְזָר.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Me’ór ʕeinéikh ve-nitzotzáv ḥatzatzím
Ve-gabotáv keshatót heim derukhót
Ve-lifrótz ba-ḥashukáyikh peratzím
Be-khól ʕeit heim ʕaléi yéter ʕarukhót
Le-maḥtzám noflím yom yom retzutzím
Revavót govʕím me-‘éin ‘arukhót
Ve-libéikh tzar ve-ʕáz mi-tzár ve-‘akhzár
U-miméikh ‘ein yedíd nitzál ve-neʕzár.

Dec 282012
 

We as a people haven’t really had a great century.

Yehuda Amiḥai (1924 – 2000)
The City I Was Born In

The city I was born in was destroyed by artillery.
The ship I came to Israel on was sunk afterwards, during the war.
The granary in Hamadiyya I made love in was burned down.
The kiosk in Ein Gedi was blown up by the enemy,
the bridge in Ismailiyya that I crossed over,
back and forth, on the evening of my loves,
they tore to shreds.

My life is being erased behind me according to a precise map.
How long can the memories hold position?
The little girl from my childhood they killed, and my father’s dead.

So don’t choose me as a lover or a son,
as a crosser of bridges or a tenant or a citizen.

יהודה עמיחי
העיר שבה נולדתי


הָעִיר שֶׁבָּהּ נוֹלַדְתִּי נֶהֶרְסָה בְּתוֹתָחִים.
הָאֳנִיָּה שֶׁבָּהּ עָלִיתִי, טֻבְּעָה אַחַר כָּךְ, בַּמִּלְחָמָה.
הַגֹּרֶן בְּחַמָדִיָּה שֶׁבּוֹ אָהַבְתִּי, נִשְׂרַף.
הַקְּיוֹסְק בְּעֵין גֶּדִי פֻּצַּץ בִּידֵי אוֹיְבִים,
אֶת הַגֶּשֶׁר בְּאִיסְמָעִילִיָּה שֶׁעָבַרְתִּי
בּוֹ הָלוֹךְ וָשׁוֹב בְּעֶרֶב אַהֲבוֹתַי
קָרְעוּ לִקְרָעִים.

חַיַּי נִמְחָקִים אַחֲרַי לְפִי מַפָּה מְדֻיֶּקֶת.
כַּמָּה זְמַן יַחֲזִיקוּ הַזִּכְרוֹנוֹת מַעֲמָד?
אֶת הַיַּלְדָּה מִיַּלְדוּתִי הָרְגוּ, וְאָבִי מֵת.

לָכֵן אַל תִּבְחֲרוּ בִי לְאוֹהֵב אוֹ לְבֵן,
לְעוֹבֵר גְּשָׁרִים וּלְדַיָּר וּלְאֶזְרָח.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Ha-ʕír she-báh noládeti nehersáh be-totaḥím.
Ha-‘oniyáh she-báh ʕalíti tubʕáh ‘aḥár kakh, ba-milḥamáh.
Ha-góren be-ḥamadíyah she-bó ‘ahávti, nisráf.
Ha-kyósk be-ʕéin gédi putzátz bidéi ‘oyevím,
‘et ha-gésher be-‘ismaʕilíyah she-ʕavárti
bo halókh va-shóv be-ʕérev ‘ahavotái
karʕú likraʕím.

Ḥayái nimḥakím ‘aḥarái le-fí mapáh meduyéket.
Kámah zemán yaḥazíku ha-zikhronót maʕamád?
‘Et ha-yaldáh mi-yaldutí hargú, ve-‘aví meit.

Lakhéin ‘al tivḥarú vi le-‘ohéiv ‘o le-véin,
le-ʕovéir gesharím u-le-dayár u-le-‘ezráḥ.

Dec 282012
 

If I were a kiruv professional (I mean kiruv for Judaism, not for poetry), instead of with bribery, thinly veiled indoctrination, bogus “proofs” and outright lies, I might try to hook the lost sheep with a demonstration of how Orthodoxy has (or at least once had) a place for striking expressions of both spiritual insight and doubt, of simultaneous estrangement from and rapprochement with the sublime, by one of the last century’s most talented poets. Instead I suppose it’s more important people learn that the world is evil, frumkeit is the balm in Gilead, and that one’s holy purpose in life is to work to support the exalted labors of some kollelnik yevreiskiy tuneyadets. Maybe that’s why I’m not a kiruv professional? Ahhh, it wouldn’t work anyway, Zelda’s from a Lubavitch family – pesulah.

Zelda (1914 – 1984)
My Soul Will Cry Out Then

My soul will cry out then:
Scorched lips
you’re on one side
and the world is on the other
the whole world’s on the other.

For
in that sun-drenched room
I stood
so close to her
that my lips touched her face
made strange with pangs of death.
She pronounced my name
in a voice
that slept upon the seafloor,
in a distant, muffled voice
that smashed to pieces all the mirrors
made of silver
they signified my name,
her smoking lips.

זלדה
אז תצעק נשמתי


אָז תִּצְעַק נִשְׁמָתִי:
שְׂפָתַיִם חֲרוּכוֹת
אַתֶּן בְּצַד אֶחָד
וְהָעוֹלָם בַּצַּד הַשֵּׁנִי
וְכָל הָעוֹלָם בַּצַּד הַשֵּׁנִי.

כִּי
בְּאוֹתוֹ חֶדֶר מוּצַף שֶׁמֶשׁ
עָמַדְתִּי
כֹּה קָרוֹב אֵלֶיהָ
שֶׁפִּי נָגַע בְּפָנֶיהָ
אֲשֶׁר שֻׁנּוּ בְּחֶבְלֵי מָוֶת.
הִיא בִּטְּאָה אֶת שְׁמִי
בְּקוֹל
שֶׁלָּן עַל קַרְקַע הַיָּם,
בְּקוֹל רָחוֹק וּמְעֻמְעָם
שֶׁנִּפֵּץ לִרְסִיסִים אֶת מַרְאוֹת
הַכֶּסֶף
אוֹתְתוּ אֶת שְׁמִי
שְׂפָתֶיהָ הָעֲשֵׁנוֹת.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

‘Az titzʕák nishmatí:
sefatáyim ḥarukhót
‘atén be-tzád ‘eḥád
ve-ha-ʕolám ba-tzád ha-sheiní
ve-khól ha-ʕolám ba-tzád ha-sheiní.

Ki
be-‘otó ḥéder mutzáf shémesh
ʕamádeti
koh karóv ‘eiléha
she-pí nagáʕ be-fanéha
‘ashér shunú be-ḥevléi mávet.
Hi bit’áh ‘et shmí
be-kól
she-lán ʕal karkáʕ ha-yám,
be-kól raḥók u-meʕumʕám
she-nipéitz lirsisím ‘et mar’ót
ha-késef
‘otetú ‘et shmí
sefatéha ha-ʕasheinót.

Dec 272012
 

So I had to hem and haw for awhile over whether to translate kshe-nigmor as “when we’re done” or “when we come,” since in the Holy Tongue, in which the universe and all its wonders were uttered into being, the verb ligmor (“to finish”) also means “to arrive at one’s sexual climax” (I’m trying to keep it clinical. This is a family website. I actually had a crass joke all set to go, but people with actual religious ordination read this site. My goal is that in print I should be no crasser than R’ Yehuda al-Harizi זצ”ל, which actually gives me a lot of wiggle room). In the end, I went with “when we’re done,” because although Herr Kosman does indeed seem to be talking about coming, “when we’re done” gets the post-coital point across well enough, and preserves the “ambiguity,” such as it is, in the Hebrew verb. Yes, this is how I spend my time. Hi.

So, uh. Admiel Kosman’s id, superego and religion are all, like, super mixed up (to use the proper academic terminology). He’s actually pretty Catholic for a Jew.

Admiel Kosman (1957 – )
Instructions on the Box

Obliterate us when we’re done.
And let some pure air in.
If so it will be necessary
to obliterate us here. Right
here on the bench.

Obliterate us when we’re done.
When the last depleted, weakened word is on
our lips. Like the wings of birds. For him it would be
easy. He’d need only to obliterate
us just like that. In our clothes.
The moment that we’re done.

Obliterate us. Just like that. When we’re done.
The setting sun. The last notes of
a violin’s melody. The day now wipes away
the last remains of light. And it would be
beneath the fruit trees in the yard. The instant
that we’re done. And it would be beneath
the fruit trees in the yard. For him it would be
oh so easy,

so very easy! With a puff of breath, or with a word.
He’d only need a fingertip to move us
easily, rightward, leftward. Forward, straight.

Get up — annihilate, exterminate, obliterate
and just like that, still in our clothes. Cut the head
off at the neck.

Get up and shake it off.
And don’t recall a thing.

אדמיאל קוסמן
הוראות על הקופסה

 
לְהַשְׁמִיד אוֹתָנוּ כְּשֶׁנִּגְמֹר.
וּלְהַזְרִים לְכָאן אֲוִיר טָהוֹר.
צָרִיךְ יִהְיֶה אִם כָּךְ כְּבָר
לְהַשְׁמִיד אוֹתָנוּ כָּאן. יָשָׁר
עַל הַסַּפְסָל.
 
לְהַשְׁמִיד אוֹתָנוּ כְּשֶׁנִּגְמֹר.
כְּשֶׁהַמִּלָּה הָאַחֲרוֹנָה רָפָה וּמְדֻלְדֶּלֶת עַל
שְׂפָתֵינוּ. כְּמוֹ כַּנְפֵי צִפּוֹר. יִהְיֶה לוֹ
קַל מְאֹד. הוּא יִצְטָרֵךְ רַק לְהַשְׁמִיד
אוֹתָנוּ כָּכָה. בִּבְגָדֵינוּ.
בָּרֶגַע שֶׁנִּגְמֹר.
 
לְהַשְׁמִיד אוֹתָנוּ. כָּכָה. כְּשֶׁנִּגְמֹר.
שְׁקִיעָה. צְלִילִים אַחֲרוֹנִים שֶׁל
נְגִינַת כִּנּוֹר. הַיּוֹם מוֹחֶה שְׁיָרִים
אַחֲרוֹנִים שֶׁל אוֹר. וְזֶה יִהְיֶה
מִתַּחַת לַעֲצֵי הַפְּרִי שֶׁבֶּחָצֵר. מִיָּד
כְּשֶׁנִּגְמֹר. וְזֶה יִהְיֶה מִתַּחַת לַעֲצֵי הַפְּרִי
שֶׁבֶּחָצֵר. וְזֶה יִהְיֶה
לוֹ קַל. הוֹ קַל,
 
קַל כָּל כָּךְ! בְּהֶבֶל פֶּה. בְּמַאֲמָר.
הוּא יִצְטָרֵךְ אֶת קְצֵה הַזֶּרֶת לְהָזִיז
קַלּוֹת, יָמִינָה, שְׂמֹאלָה. קָדִימָה וְיָשָׁר.
 
לָקוּם וּלְהַצְמִית וּלְהַכְרִית וּלְהַשְׁמִיד
וְכָכָה בַּבְּגָדִים שֶׁלָּנוּ. לְהַתִּיז
אֶת הַצַּוָּאר.
 
לָקוּם וּלְנַעֵר.
וְלֹא לִזְכֹּר דָּבָר.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Lehashmíd ‘otánu kshe-nigmór.
U-lehazrím le-khán ‘avír tahór.
Tzaríkh yihyéh ‘im kakh kevár
lehashmíd ‘otánu kan. Yashár
ʕal ha-safsál.

Lehashmíd ‘otánu kshe-nigmór.
Ke-she-ha-miláh ha-aḥaronáh rafáh u-meduldélet ʕal
sfatéinu. Kemó kanféi tzipór. Yihyéh lo
kal me’ód. Hu yitztaréikh rak lehashmíd
‘otánu kákhah. Bivgadéinu.
Be-régaʕ she-nigmór.

Lehashmíd ‘otánu. Kákhah. Kshe-nigmór.
Shkiʕáh. Tzlilím ‘aḥaroním shel
neginát kinór. Ha-yóm moḥéh shyarím
‘aḥaroním shel ‘or. Ve-zéh yihyéh
mi-táḥat la-ʕatzéi ha-prí she-ba-ḥatzéir. Miyád
kshe-nigmór. Ve-zéh yihyéh mi-táḥat la-ʕatzéi
ha-prí she-ba-ḥatzéir. Ve-zéh yihyéh
lo kal. Ho kal,

kal kol kakh! Be-hével peh. Be-ma’amár.
Hu yitztaréikh ‘et ketzéih ha-zéret lehazíz
kalót, yemínah, smólah, kadímah ve-yashár.

Lakúm u-lehatzmít u-lehakhrít u-lehashmíd
ve-khákhah babgadím shelánu. Lehatíz
‘et ha-tzavár.

Lakúm u-lenaʕéir.
Ve-ló lizkór davár.

Dec 272012
 

This is the third poem of a six poem cycle in which each poems’ lines end with one of the same six words (world, forest, snow, summer, night and sun), with each following poem using the last word of the previous poem in its opening line. The first two are here and here.

Ephraim Luzzatto (1729 – 1792)
I Was Like Beeswax

I was like beeswax, or like butter, or snow,
Which all melt away in the heat of the sun,
I waited for spring, instead came the summer,
For I had inverted the law of the world;
I seemed a blaze at the edge of the forest,
Whose fires grew stronger from night unto night.

אפרים לוצאטו
הייתי כדונג

 
הָיִיתִי כַדּוֹנַג, חֶמְאָה, אוֹ שֶׁלֶג,
כִּי יִמַּסּוּ הִמֵּס מִחוּם הַשֶּׁמֶש,
חִכִּיתִי הָאָבִיב, וַיָבוֹא קַיִץ,
כִּי בִגְלָלִי הוּמַר מִשְׁפַּט הָאָרֶץ;
דָּמִיתִי אֵשׁ לוֹהֵט בִּקְצֵה הַיַּעַר,
וַיִרֶב הַמּוֹקֵד לַיְלָה מִלַּיְלָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Hayíti kha-donág, ḥem’áh, ‘o shéleg,
Ki yimasú himéis mi-ḥúm ha-shémesh,
Ḥikíti ha-‘avív, ve-yavó káyitz,
Ki viglalí humár mishpát ha-‘áretz;
Damíti ‘eish lohéit bi-ketzéh ha-yáʕar,
Va-yirév ha-mokéid láilah mi-láilah.

Dec 262012
 

Contrary to popular belief, the Cure did not invent gloomy sad bastard music. If ibn Gabirol had lived in our era, would he have had silly hair and a predilection for mascara? Food for thought.

Once again, I’ve attached Berry Sakharof’s version for your listening pleasure. And again, if you dig it, show Berry your love by purchasing and downloading the album here for a very reasonable 30 NIS/~$8.

Berry Sakharof and Rea Mokhiach - Ve-Leiv Navuv

Shlomo ibn Gabirol (1021? – 1058?)
And Hollow’s the Heart

And hollow’s the heart, and wisdom is sealed
And the body is seen, the soul’s disappeared,
And seekers of earth’s good find only the bad,
And no joy for the man who lies in the ground.
And the servant shall kill his masters today,
And serving girls torment their queen, as do maids,
Against father and mother sons shall rise up,
Against father and mother daughters shall too.
O my friends, my own eye has looked at the world,
Where goodness in everyone’s eyes is but void!
And men shall bear labors for all of their lives
And after their end shall bear maggots and clay.
And the earth shall return itself unto the earth
And the soul shall rise and ascend towards the soul.

שלמה אבן גבירול / سليمان ابن جبيرول
ולב נבוב

 
וְלֵב נָבוּב וְתוּשִׁיָּה סְתוּמָה
וְגוּף נִרְאֶה וְנֶפֶשׁ נַעֲלָמָה,
וְאֶרֶץ שׁוֹחֲרֶיהָ יִמְצְאוּ רָע
וְלֹא שָׂשׂוֹן לְאָדָם בָּאֲדָמָה:
וְעֶבֶד יַהֲרֹג הַיּוֹם אֲדֹנָיו,
וְשִׁפְחָה יִסְּרָה מַלְכָּהּ, וְאָמָה,
וּבֵן יָקוּם עֲלֵי אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ
וְכֵן הַבַּת בְאָבִיהָ וְאִמָּהּ.
יְדִידַי, רָאֲתָה עֵינִי בְּתֵבֵל,
אֲשֶׁר הַטּוֹב בְעֵינֵי כֹל – מְהוּמָה!
יְמֵי חַיֵּי אֱנוֹשׁ יִשָּׂא עֲמָלִים
וְיִשָּׂא אַחֲרִיתוֹ גוּשׁ וְרִמָּה.
וְתָשׁוּב הָאֲדָמָה לָאֲדָמָה
וָתַעַל הַנְּשָמָה לַנְּשָׁמָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Ve-léiv navúv ve-tushiyáh setumáh
Ve-gúf nir’éh ve-néfesh naʕalamáh,
Ve-‘éretz shoḥaréha yimtze’ú raʕ
Ve-ló sasón le-‘adám ba-‘adamáh.
Ve-ʕéved yaharóg ha-yom ‘adonáv,
Ve-shifḥáh yisráh malkáh, ve-‘amáh,
U-véin yekúm ʕaléi ‘aváv ve-‘imó
Ve-khéin ha-bát ve-‘avíha ve-‘imáh.
Yedidái, ra’atáh ʕeiní be-teivéil,
‘Ashér ha-tóv ve-ʕeinéi khol — mehumáh!
Yeméi ḥayéi ‘enósh yisá ʕamalím
Ve-yisó ‘aḥaritó gush ve-rimáh.
Ve-tashúv ha-‘adamáh la-‘adamáh
Va-taʕál ha-neshamáh la-neshamáh.

Dec 262012
 

What can I say, I’m going through a Tzarfati phase. Pay no mind to this one crazy man and his ottava rima fixation. You can go about your business. Move along.

Yosef Tzarfati (? – 1527)
While You’re Yet Young and Fresh

While you’re yet young and fresh as the branch of a vine,
And your clusters with ripening grapes are replete,
And nestled ‘twixt thorns like a lily you shine,
Your most splendorous scent and your taste are so sweet.
Is it wise, stubborn rebel, the way you consign
Your lovers like straw to the fire’s fierce heat?
You’ll be found in the end by old age and grey hair,
With no lover, you’ll cry out in bitter despair.

יוסף צרפתי
בעודך רעננה כזמורה

 
בְּעוֹדֵךְ רַעֲנָנָה כַזְּמוֹרָה
בְּהַבְשִׁיל אַשְׁכְּלֹתַיִךְ עֲנָבִים,
וּבֵין חוֹחִים כְּשׁוֹשׁנָּה שְׁמוּרָה,
הֲדַר רֵיחֵךְ וְטוּב טַעְמֵךְ עֲרֵבִים.
הֲטוֹב כִּי סוֹרֲרָה תִהְיִי וּמוֹרָה
בְּתֵת דוֹדִים כְּקַשׁ אֶל־תּוֹךְ לְהָבִים?
וְזִקְנָה תִמְצְאֵךְ רֶגַע וְשֵׂיבָה
וּמֵאֵין דּוֹד בְּמַר תִּבְכִּי עֲצֵבָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Be-ʕodéikh raʕananáh kha-zemoráh
Be-havshíl ‘ashkelotáyikh ʕanavím,
U-véin ḥoḥím ke-shoshanáh shemuráh
Hadár reiḥéikh ve-túv taʕméikh ʕareivím.
Ha-tóv ki soraráh tihyí u-moráh
Be-téit dodím ke-kásh ‘el tokh lehavím
Ve-ziknáh timtze’éikh régaʕ ve-seiváh
U-mei-‘éin dod be-mar tivkí ʕatzeiváh.

Dec 252012
 

An ottava rima, except not really, because it’s AAAAAABB instead of ABABABCC (well, technically, the odd lines rhyme -beir and the evens -peir, but close enough), which made it double-hard to translate. I did my best.

Yosef Tzarfati (? – 1527)
How I’ve Longed for Your Favor

Oh, how I’ve longed for your favor through all of my days,
What penance would earn me your sympathy’s gaze?
At all times I write poems to sing sweetly your praise,
That tell all who come of your glorious ways.
I could break a dog’s heart with my tears and malaise,
And his innards to powder and dust I could raze!
But your heart and your neck you’ve made emery to me
Your ear like a funnel you’ve turned to my plea.

יוסף צרפתי
כמה מצוא חנך אשבר

 
אֲהָהּ, כַּמָּה מְצֹא חִנֵּךְ אֲשַׂבֵּר,
וּבַמָּה אֶת פְּנֵי חַסְדֵּךְ אֲכַפֵּר?
וְכָל עֵת שִׁיר בְּמַהְלָלֵךְ אֲחַבֵּר,
וְגָדְלֵךְ בּוֹ לְכֹל יָבֹא אֲסַפֵּר.
וְלֶב כֶּלֶב נְהִי בִכְיִי יְשַׁבֵּר,
וְכִלְיוֹתָיו לְאָבָק דַּק יְעַפֵּר!
וְאַתְּ שָׁמִיר לְבָבֵךְ שַׂמְתְּ וְעָרְפֵּךְ,
וְאָזְנֵךְ אֶל תְּחִנָּתִי כְּמַשְׁפֵּךְ.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

‘Aháh, kámah metzó ḥinéikh ‘asabéir,
U-va-máh ‘et penéi ḥasdéikh ‘akhapéir?
Ve-khól ʕeit shir be-mahlaléikh ‘aḥabéir,
Ve-godléikh bo le-khól yavó ‘asapéir.
Ve-lév kélev nehí vikhyí yeshabéir,
Ve-khilyotáv le-‘avák dak yeʕapéir!
Ve-‘át shamír levavéikh samt ve-ʕorpéikh,
Ve-‘oznéikh ‘el teḥinatí ke-mashpéikh.