Dec 042012
 

As we work our way steadily through the parts of Yehuda ha-Levi’s diwan in which all the letters are crowned with hearts…

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
Depart, O Beauty

Depart, O beauty dwelling in men’s hearts
Send forth from your light’s glimmer tongues of flame
From behind your locks,1 oh, shine forth like the sun
As it shines through cov’ring clouds, you shine the same.
Could dwelling in the deepest chambers truly satisfy?
Towards your friend who rouses love depart—
He’ll cleave out pearls from ‘twixt your lips
As you cleaved hearts from out his heart.2

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
צאי יפה שכונה בלבבות

 
צְאִי יָפָה שְׁכוּנָה בַלְּבָבוֹת
וְשִׁלְחִי מִבְּרַק אוֹרֵךְ לְהָבוֹת
וְהָאִירִי בְּעַד צַמָּה כְּשֶׁמֶשׁ
אֲשֶׁר תָּאִיר וְהִיא נִכְסֵית בְּעָבוֹת
הֲלֹא דַי לָךְ שְׁכֹן חַדְרֵי חֲדָרִים
צְאִי לִקְרַאת יְדִיד עוֹרֵר אֲהָבוֹת
וְיַחְצֹב מִשְּׂפָתַיִךְ פְּנִינִים
כְּמוֹ חָצַבְתְּ מִלִּבּוֹ לְבָבוֹת.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Tze’í yafáh shekhunáh va-levavót
Ve-shilḥí mibrák ‘oréikh lehavót
Ve-ha’íri beʕád tzamáh ke-shémesh
‘Ashér ta’ír ve-hí nikhséit be-ʕavót
Ha-ló dai lakh shekhón ḥadréi ḥadarím
Tze’í likrát yedíd ʕoréir ‘ahavót
Ve-yaḥtzóv misfatáyikh peniním
Kemó ḥatzávt mi-libó levavót.

  1. Song of Songs 4:1.
  2. Psalm 29:7. Wordplay. God is described in the Psalm as cleaving tongues of flame (lehavot), a word which so happens to rhyme with “hearts” (levavot).

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