Dec 312012

The elder of the brothers Frances, the terrible twosome of Baroque Italian Hebrew poetry. Maybe he’d just gotten out of a bad relationship or something. I don’t know, I don’t do apologetics. Only compilation, translation, transliteration, self-abnegation, and morphological rhyme.

Yaakov Frances (1615 – 1667)
Of Worthy Departures

Of worthy departures, there are only three
  For each woman, whether big or whether small.
The first is her birth day, when into this world
  Befouled with the filth of the depths she will crawl.
The second is when she departs her abode
  And goes to her groom and her husband’s own hall
The day that she’s brought to her grave is the third;
  Of these three, that’s the best one of all.

יעקב פראנשיס
לבד שלוש יציאות

לְבַד שָׁלשׁ יְצִיאוֹת הֵן רְאוּיוֹת / לְכָל־אִשָּׁה קְטַנָּה אוֹ גְדוֹלָה
וְאַחַת הִיא בְּהִוָּלְדָהּ וְצֵאתָהּ / מְלֻכְלֶכֶת כְּמוֹ מִיוֵן מְצוּלָה
וְהַשֵּׁנִית בְּצֵאת מִבֵּית נְוָתָהּ / וְהוֹלֶכֶת לְבֵית חָתָן וּבַעְלָהּ
וְיוֹם תּוּבַל לְקֶבֶר הַשְּׁלִישִׁית / וּמִכָּל־הַיְצִיאוֹת זאֹת מְעֻלָּה.


Levád shalósh yetzi’ót hein re’uyót / le-khól ‘isháh ketanáh ‘o gedoláh
Ve-‘aḥát hi be-hivaldáh ve-tzeitáh / melukhlékhet kemó mivéin metzuláh
Ve-ha-sheinít be-tzéit me-béit nevatáh / ve-holékhet le-véit ḥatán u-vaʕláh
Ve-yóm tuvál le-kéver ha-shelishít / u-mi-kól ha-yetzi’ót zot meʕuláh.

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