Dec 272012
 

This is the third poem of a six poem cycle in which each poems’ lines end with one of the same six words (world, forest, snow, summer, night and sun), with each following poem using the last word of the previous poem in its opening line. The first two are here and here.

Ephraim Luzzatto (1729 – 1792)
I Was Like Beeswax

I was like beeswax, or like butter, or snow,
Which all melt away in the heat of the sun,
I waited for spring, instead came the summer,
For I had inverted the law of the world;
I seemed a blaze at the edge of the forest,
Whose fires grew stronger from night unto night.

אפרים לוצאטו
הייתי כדונג

 
הָיִיתִי כַדּוֹנַג, חֶמְאָה, אוֹ שֶׁלֶג,
כִּי יִמַּסּוּ הִמֵּס מִחוּם הַשֶּׁמֶש,
חִכִּיתִי הָאָבִיב, וַיָבוֹא קַיִץ,
כִּי בִגְלָלִי הוּמַר מִשְׁפַּט הָאָרֶץ;
דָּמִיתִי אֵשׁ לוֹהֵט בִּקְצֵה הַיַּעַר,
וַיִרֶב הַמּוֹקֵד לַיְלָה מִלַּיְלָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Hayíti kha-donág, ḥem’áh, ‘o shéleg,
Ki yimasú himéis mi-ḥúm ha-shémesh,
Ḥikíti ha-‘avív, ve-yavó káyitz,
Ki viglalí humár mishpát ha-‘áretz;
Damíti ‘eish lohéit bi-ketzéh ha-yáʕar,
Va-yirév ha-mokéid láilah mi-láilah.

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