Feb 132013
 

This weirdly reminds me of a poem I myself wrote, another celestially-inclined Hebrew love poem. You just can’t come up with anything original with 3000 years of unbroken competition. Yehuda Zarko is actually pretty incredible. I should translate more of him.

Yehuda Zarko (? – after 1560)
If You Should Behold

If you should behold in the skies all awhirl
The zodiac’s stars every instant in time,
Don’t think that to show their own might they now strive,
By racing through vales with a runner’s fleet stride.
They’re racing swift after one single design,
And ’round they return again, never to tire:
For there on the Milky Way’s belt whirls a girl,
A maiden unknown by all men, so sublime.
So therefore they race, for her glorious shine,
So after their flight, on her breast they’ll recline.

יהודה זרקו
אם תחזו כי בשחק

 
אִם תֶּחֱזוּ כִּי בְשַׁחַק יְסוֹבֵב
גַּלְגַּל וְאוֹפַן בְּכָל עֵת וְשָׁעָה,
אַל תַּחְשְׁבוּ כִּי לְהַרְאוֹת גְּבוּרָה
רוּצָם מְהֵרָה כְּאִישׁ רָץ בְּבִקְעָה.
רַק הֵם יְרוּצוּן לְסִבָּה גְדוֹלָה,
חוֹזְרִים חֲלִילָה בְּלִי שׁוּם יְגִיעָה:
כִּי עַל חֲגֹורַת מְזָרִים תְסוֹבֵב
יַעְלָה בְתוּלָה וְאִישׁ לֹא יְדָעָהּ.
לָכֵן יְרוּצוּן: לְהַשִּׂיג הֲדָרָהּ,
לְשְׁכַּב בְּחֵיקָהּ בְּסוֹף הַתְּנוּעָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

‘Im teḥezu ki ve-sháḥak yesovéiv
Galgál ve-‘ofán be-khól ʕeit ve-shaʕáh,
‘Al taḥshevú ki lehar’ót gevuráh
Rutzám meheiráh ke-‘ísh ratz be-vikʕáh.
Rak heim yerutzún le-sibáh gedoláh,
Ḥozrím ḥaliláh belí shum yegiʕáh:
Ki ʕal ḥagorát mezarím tesovéiv
Yaʕláh vetuláh ve-‘ísh lo yedaʕáh.
Lakhéin yerutzún: lehasíg hadaráh,
Lishkáv be-ḥeikáh be-sóf hatnuʕáh.

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