Dec 212012
 

Another ottava rima! (Or as I pronounce it, oysovoh rimoh.) This one made me think of The Princess Bride, which cheered me somewhat. See if you can figure out why!

Yosef Tzarfati (? – 1527)
Though You’re Far, My Gazelle

Though you’re far, my gazelle, from the place I reside
You’re more near than my flesh is to me.
Though I seem a free man to those who see me outside,
I’m a slave to your lips’ every decree.
Though before my observers I hasten my stride,
How quickly you bind me as your detainee!
You alone stand accused of my death,
But you, as you wish, can restore my soul’s breath.

יוסף צרפתי
ואם רחקת צביה

 
וְאִם רָחַקְתְּ צְבִיָּה מִמְּגוּרַי,
קְרוֹבָה אַתְּ לְעַצְמִי מִבְּשָׂרִי.
וְאִם חָפְשִׁי אֲנִי נֶחְשָׁב לְשׁוּרַי,
גְּבִירִי נִיב שְֹפָתַיִךְ וְשָׂרִי.
וְאִם אַרְחִיב לְעֵין רוֹאַי אֲשׁוּרַי,
תְּאַסְרִי חִישׁ כְּרֶגַע מַאֲסָרִי.
לְבַדֵּךְ אַתְּ לְמִיתָתִי אֲשֵׁמָה,
וְתָשִׁיבִי בְּחֶפְצֵךְ בִּי נְשָׁמָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Ve-ím raḥákt tzeviyáh mi-megurái,
Kerováh ‘at le-ʕatzmí mi-besarí.
Ve-‘ím ḥofshí ‘aní neḥsháv le-shurái,
Gevirí niv sefatáyikh ve-sarí.
Ve-‘ím ‘arḥív le-ʕéin ro’ái ‘ashuraí,
Te’asrí ḥish ke-régaʕ ma’asarí.
Levadéikh ‘at le-mitatí ‘asheimáh,
Ve-tashívi be-ḥeftzéikh bi neshamáh.

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