Dec 242012
 

When we last left our friend Ḥever the Kenite in the sixth chapter of the Taḥkemoni, he had developed an acute case of buyer’s remorse over his, ah, blushing new bride. Here we pick up exactly where we left off, as Ḥever desperately tries to make the best of a bad situation:

יהודה אלחריזי / يهودا الحريزي

וּבִרְאוֹתִי הַמַּרְאֶה הַזֶּה נָפְלָה עָלַי חֲרָדָה. וּפַחַד קְרָאַנִי וּרְעָדָה. וְאָמַרְתִּי: בָּא יוֹם הַפְּקֻדָּה. אַךְ הִתְאַפַּקְתִּי. וְרַכּוֹת אֵלֶיהָ דִּבָּרְתִּי. וְאָמַרְתִּי לָהּ: בִּתִי אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר פָּנַיִךְ כְּשָׁמִיר וָשַׁיִת. הַגִּידִי לִי מַה יֵש לָךְ בַּבַּיִת. וְאַיֵּה שִׂמְלוֹתַיִךְ וּמְעִילַיִךְ. וְחוֹתָמַיךְ וּפְתִילַיִךְ. וְסַהֲרוֹנַיִךְ וַעֲגִילַיִךְ. וְתַמְרוּקֵי עֲדָנַיִךְ. וּכְלֵי שְׁמָנַיִךְ. אָמְרָה לִי: לֹא יֶחְסַר לִי כֹּל. כִּי חַנָּנִי אֱלֹהִים וְכִי יֶשׁ לִי כֹּל. וְכָל בְּגָדַי עָזַבְתִּי צְרוּרִים בְּבֵית אֲדוֹנִי אָבִי. וּבִנְוֵה מוֹשָׁבִי. אָמַרְתִּי לָהּ: וּמָה הַפִּקָּדוֹן. אֲשֶׁר עָזַבְתְּ בְּבֵית הָאָדוֹן. אָמְרָה לִי: עָזַבְתִּי שְׁנֵי שַׂקִּים בָּלִים. וְשִׁבְרֵי כֵלִים. וְצַלַּחַת וְקַלַּחַת. וּמִטְפַּחַת וְצַפַּחַת. וּמִשְֹעֶנֶת וְאַמְתַּחַת. וּמַדִּים קְרוּעִים. וְכֵלִים נְגוּעִים. וּשְׁתֵּי קְעָרוֹת. וְשָׁלֹשׁ קְדֵרוֹת. וּבְשָׁמְעִי דְּבָרֶיהָ נָפַלתִּי עַל פָּנַי. וְאָבְדוּ רַעְיוֹנַי. וְלֹא מָצְאוּ חָזוֹן מֵיְיָ.
 
וָאֶשָׂא מְשָׁלִי וָאֹמַר:
י

And terror fell upon me when I saw her appear, and trembling seized me, and fear. I said: “The Day of Reckoning must surely be here!” But I held back my dread, and tenderly speaking I said: “My dear, since thistles and thorns are the stuff of your face, tell me at least what you have in your place. Where are your dresses and where are your frocks? Your seals, your threads, all your fine stocks? Your ornaments, your earrings, all your heirlooms? Where are your oils? Where are your perfumes?” And she said: “I lack not a thing. God’s granted me all that his kindness could bring. I left all my clothes bundled when they asked me to come, in the house of my father, in the place that I’m from.” I said to her: “So what else is there? What else did you leave in your father’s care?” She said: “I left two worn-out bags. A scarf, a bottle, some rags. A cauldron and one or two platters. Used utensils and garb left in tatters. A cushion and also some sacks. Two bowls, three pots, some dishes with cracks.” As I heard her words, I fell on my face, and all my thoughts too fell out of their place, finding no insight from God in his grace:

And I raised my voice and said:

Were you formed out of demons and shades?
  May God put you under a curse!
The angels of ruin and wrath seem your brothers —
  But you, the firstborn, are worse!
Your body looks like that of Azazel’s goat —
  How did you slip out of the wastes?1
It’s as if Time grew to lust after Lilith —
  Her love sent you to her as a gift!
Your creator created you just so you’d be
  A help to the Angel of Death,
Your father’d be happy if he’d died at your birth,
  And would that your mother were barren!
Your own lips resemble the lips of a bull,
  Your mouth is a tomb, your belly a cave,
Your teeth are as foul as the teeth of a bear,
  They’re a bowlful of dung mixed with spit,
Your eyes, like a stovetop, billow forth smoke
  Your face is the bottom of a pot.
You’re tall as the tree they hanged Haman from,2
  May I see you swing from it soon!
The night that you came seemed like to me
  Angels of wrath coming forth in their rage,
Like Pharaoh the night he drowned in the sea,
  Like Haman when he hung from the tree,
Like Sisera after he’d fled to Yael,3
  Like Eglon in his breezy salon!4
Your belly’s as swollen as a full skin of wine,
  Your form is as black as your luck.
Your hands are as hairy as the hands of an ape,
  Your fingers are coals on a stove.
The sound of your words is like thunder at night,
  Your mouth’s breath is the wind of a storm.
Your mouth is a tomb for your food and your drink,
  Which like poison in your belly will churn,
Like a mortar you crush everything ‘twixt your teeth,
  The people flee like they fled to Be’er.5
May God overturn you so your head is in Hell,
  As he overturned foul Sodom and Gomorrah!
May he make you a shroud from the bellies of lions,
  And make your grave in the depths of their guts!

הֲמִשֵּדִים וְזִקִּים אַתְּ גְּזוּרָה
 יְשַׁלַּח בָּךְ אֱלֹהִים הַמְּאֵרָה.
כְּאִלּוּ מַלְאֲכֵי זַעַם וּמַשְׁחִית
 לְאַחִים לָךְ אֲבָל לָךְ הַבְּכוֹרָה.
כְּאִלּוּ תָאֳרַךְ כִּשְׂעִיר עֲזָאזֵל
 וְאֵיךְ נִמְלַטְתְּ מֵאֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה?
כְּאִלּוּ הַזְּמַן חָשַׁק בְּלִילִית
 וּמֵאַהְבָה שְׁלָחֵךְ לָהּ תְּשׁוּרָה.
וְיוֹצְרֵךְ לֹא יְצָרֵךְ רַק לְמַעַן
 תְּהִי אֶל מַלְאֲכֵי מָוֶת לְעֶזְרָה.
וְאַשְׁרֵי יוֹלְדֵך לוּ מַתְּ בְּלִדְתֵּךְ
 וּמִי יִתֵּן תְּהִי אִמֵּך עֲקָרָה.
שְׂפָתַיִךְ כְּמוֹ שִׂפְתֵי שְׁוָרִים
 וּפִיךְ קֶבֶר אֲבָל בִּטְנֵךְ מְעָרָה.
וְשִׁנַּיִךְ כְּשִׁנֵּי דֹב זְהוּמוֹת
 וּבָם צוֹאָה וְרִיר כִּמְלֹא קְעָרָה.
וְעֵינַיִךְ כְּמוֹ כִּירָה עֲשֵׁנִים
 וּפָנַיִךְ כְּמוֹ שׁוּלֵי קְדֵרָה.
וְקוֹמָתֵךְ כְּעֵץ הָמָן גְּבוֹהָה
 וּמִי יִתֵּן וְאֶרְאֵךְ בּוֹ מְהֵרָה.
וְלֵיל בּוֹאֵךְ חֲשָׁבְתִּיו לִי כְּמוֹ מַלְ-
 אֲכֵי זַעַם בְּעֵת בּוֹאָם בְּעֶבְרָה.
כְּפַרְעֹה לֵיל אֲשֶׁר טָבַע בְּיָם סוּף.
 כְּמוֹ הָמָן בְּיוֹם נִתְלָה בּקוֹרָה.
כְּסִיסְרָא עֵת אֲשֶׁר בָּרַח לְיָעֵל.
 כְּעֶגְלוֹן בַּעֲלִיַּת הַמְּקֵרָה.
וְלָךְ בֶּטֶן כְּבֶטֶן נֹאד נְפוּחָה
 וְצוּרָתֵךְ כְּמַזָּלֵךְ שְׁחוֹרָה.
וְיָדַיִךְ יְדֵי הַקּוֹף שְׂעִירוֹת
 וְאֶצְבָּעוֹת כְּמוֹ אוּדִים בְּכִירָה.
וְקוֹל נִיבֵךְ כְּרַעַשׁ בַּחֲצוֹת לֵיל
 וְנִשְׁמַת פִּיךְ כְּמוֹ רוּחַ סְעָרָה.
וּפִיךְ קֶבֶר לְמַאְכָלֵךְ וּמַשְׁקֵךְ
 וְיָשׁוּבוּ בְּתוֹךְ בִּטְנֵךְ מְרוֹרָה.
בְּשִׁנֵּךְ תִּכְתְּשִׁי הַכֹּל בְּמַכְתֵּש
 וּמִשָּׁם נָסְעוּ הָעָם בְּאֵרָה.
אֱלֹהִים יַהֲפֹךְ רֹאשֵׁך בְּשַׁחַת
 כְּמַהְפֵּכַת סְדוֹמָה וַעֲמוֹרָה.
וְתַכְרִיכֵךְ יְשַׁו בִּטְנֵי אֲרָיוֹת
 וְיָשִׂים לָךְ בְּתוֹךְ קִרְבָּם קְבוּרָה.
י

What happens next is…slightly disturbing.

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Ha-mi-sheidím ve-zikím ‘at gezuráh?
Yeshaláḥ bakh ‘elohím ha-me’eiráh.
Ke-‘ílu mal’akhéi záʕam u-mashḥít
Le-‘aḥím lakh ‘avál lakh bekhoráh.
Ke-‘ílu to’aréikh ki-seʕíi ʕazazéil
Ve-‘éikh nimlátet me-‘éiretz gezeiráh?
Ke-‘ílu ha-zemán ḥashák be-lilít
U-mei’aheváh shelaḥéikh lah teshuráh.
Ve-yotzréikh lo yetzaréikh rak le-máʕan
Tehí ‘el mal’akhéi mávet le-ʕezráh.
Ve-‘ashréi yoldéikh lu mat be-lidtéikh
U-mí yitéin tehí ‘iméikh ʕakaráh.
Sefatáyikh kemó siftéi shevarím
U-fíkh kéver ‘avál bitnéikh meʕaráh.
U-shináyikh ke-shinéi dov zehumót
U-vám tzo’áh ve-rír ki-meló keʕaráh.
Ve-ʕeináyikh kemó kiráh ʕasheiním
U-fanáyikh kemó shuléi kedeiráh.
Ve-komatéikh ke-ʕéitz hamán gevoháh
U-mí yitéin ve-‘er’éikh bo meheiráh.
Ve-léil bo’éikh ḥashavtív li kemó mal-
‘akhéi záʕam be-ʕéit bo’ám be-ʕevráh.
Ke-farʕóh leil ‘ashér taváʕ be-yám suf.
Kemó hamán be-yóm nitláh be-koráh.
Ke-siserá ʕeit ‘ashér baráḥ le-yaʕéil.
Ke-ʕeglón ba-ʕaliyát ha-mekeiráh.
Ve-lákh béten ke-véten nod nefuḥáh,
Ve-tzuratéikh ke-mazléikh sheḥoráh.
Ve-yadáyikh yedéi ha-kóf seʕirót
Ve-‘etzbaʕót kemó ‘udím be-khiráh.
Ve-kól nivéikh ke-ráʕash ba-ḥatzót leil
Ve-nishmát pikh kemó rúaḥ seʕaráh.
U-fíkh kéver le-ma’khaléikh u-mashkéikh
Ve-yashúvu be-tókh bitnéikh meroráh.
Be-shinéikh tikhteshí ha-kól be-makhtéish
U-mi-shám nasʕú ha-ʕám be’eiráh.
‘Elohím yahafókh roshéikh be-sháḥat
Ke-mahepakhát sedomáh va-ʕamoráh.
Ve-takhrikhéikh yesháv bitnéi ‘arayót
Ve-yasím lakh betókh kirbám kevuráh.

  1. Leviticus 16:22.
  2. Esther 7:9-10.
  3. Judges 4:17-21.
  4. Judges 3, in which Ehud vividly assassinates the obese Moabite king Eglon as he sits in the “cool chamber” in the upper floors of his palace.
  5. Numbers 21:16.

  2 Responses to “Yehuda al-Harizi, “Ha-mi-Sheidim ve-Zikim ‘At Gezurah””

  1. Good job translating the سجع of rhymeprose. I approve.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

Are you a Russian spam robot? Prove it: *