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.

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