Dec 182012

L’amor, l’amor che move il sole e l’altri poeti ebrei.

Immanuel Frances (1618? – 1710?)
The Gazelle’s Shining Eyes

The gazelle’s shining eyes are the heavens of love,
Their light is her cloak, so lustrous and sheer.
Yet should the clouds veil them in weeping’s sad hours,
I pray you, my friends, fear not to draw near.
Pray, fear not those clouds and fear not their showers,
For above them the rainbow’s already appeared.1

עמנואל פראנשיס
עיני צביה

עֵינֵי צְבִיָּה הֵם שְׁמֵי הָאַהֲבָה,
בָּם מַעֲטֵה אוֹרָה וְזִיו לוֹבֶשֶׁת.
גַּם אִם עֲלֵיהֶם שָֹם עֲנָנָיו הַבְּכִי —
אַל נָא, יְדִידִים, תִּירְאוּ מִגֶּשֶׁת.
אַל תִּירְאוּ מֵהֶם וּמֵימֵיהֶם, הֲכִי
עַל כֵּן עֲלֵיהֶם נִרְאֲתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת.


ʕeinéi tzeviyáh heim sheméi ha-‘ahaváh,
Bam maʕatéih ‘oráh ve-zív lovéshet.
Gam ‘im ʕaleihém sam ʕananáv ha-bekhí —
‘Al na, yedidím, tir’ú mi-géshet.
‘Al tir’ú meihém u-meimeihém, hakhí
ʕal kein ʕaleihém nir’atáh ha-késhet.

  1. If you’ve read your Genesis (9:12-16), or attended any Jewish religious talk at any point in your life, you probably know that the rainbow is interpreted as a symbol of God’s vow never again to wipe everyone out with another flood. The Hebrew for rainbow, qeshet, refers to any bow-shaped object; the poet is likely referring to the object of his affection’s eyebrows, which, like the rainbow, serve to testify that the weeping of her “heavens” (i.e., her eyes) is but a temporary phenomenon. Ain’t that sweet.

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