Jan 282013
 

They’re leaving on that midnight camel train to Córdoba.

Shmuel ha-Nagid (993 – 1056?)
They Left

They left — and o’er their heads left a cloud that brimmed full
  As their hands had with gifts, or my eyes did with tears
She1 cried at my weeping and told me: “Keep faith!
  For God will return them!” I spoke to her, “Wait!
Hold back ’til they come to the place of their rest,
  Then go forth to meet them with torrents of blessings.
But if they’d be stopped now from leaving by rain,
  Then like the Gihon2 pour yourself out upon them!”

שמואל הנגיד / إسماعيل بن النغريلة
נסעו ונסעה

 
נָסְעוּ — וְנָסְעָה עָב עֲלֵי רֹאשָׁם, כְּמוֹ
 כַּפָּם בְּמַתָּן, אוֹ כְעֵינִי בַבְּכִי.
בָּכְתָה לְבִכְיָתִי וְאָמְרָה לִי: חֲכֵה,
 כִּי עוֹד יְשִׁיבֵם אֵל! וְשַׂחְתִּי לָהּ: חֲכִי
עַד יִגְּעוּ אֶל עִיר מְנוּחָתָם וְאָז
 בִּמְטַר נְדָבוֹת אֶל מְנוּתָחָם לְכִי.
אִם יֶחְדְּלוּ נָא מִלְּהַלֵּךְ בַּעֲבוּר
 גֶּשֶׁם עֲלֵיהֶם נָא כְגִיחוֹן תִּשְׁפְּכִי!
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Nasʕú — ve-nasʕáh ʕav ʕaléi roshám, kemó
Kapám be-matán, ‘o khe-ʕeiní va-bekhí.
Bakhtáh le-vikhyatí ve-‘amráh li: ḥakhéih,
Ki ʕod yeshivém ‘eil! Ve-sáḥti lah: ḥakhí
ʕad yigʕú ‘el ʕir menuḥatám ve-‘áz
Bimtár nedavót ‘el menuḥatám lekhí.
‘Im yeḥdalú na mi-lehaléikh baʕavúr
Géshem ʕaleihém na khe-giḥón tishpekhí!

  1. The cloud.
  2. The spring that supplies water to Jerusalem, or one of the primeval rivers mentioned in Genesis. Doesn’t really matter which, I guess.