Mar 052013
 

A poem from exile, after being run out of Mantua on a rail for too sharply criticizing the powers-that-were in the Jewish community.

Yaakov Frances (1615 – 1667)
Run Out, You Dogs

Run out, you dogs, who yelp barking with wonder,
“Woof!” — yelp out! — “Woof! Your poems are too factual!”
My mouth’s full of darts, and yours but with ill will;
I know how to bite; you but howl with thunder.

Wag forth your senseless tongues, nation of blunder!
Batter my poems as if striking an anvil!
So from afar my great fury I fan still —
How shall my mouth make you spoils and plunder?

A lion am I, though dressed in a sheepskin,
Cleaving pursuers with sharp fangs and claws,
Woe to the bitten, their dreadful emotion!

Nothing will cure them, not balm and not medicine,
With Truth’s potent poison I’ll line my cruel jaws,
Poison that kills like the deadliest potion.

יעקב פראנשיס
אוצו כלבים


אוּצוּ, כְּלָבִים צוֹעֲקִים לִנְבֹּחַ,
הַב — צַעֲקוּ — הַב הַב, לְשִׁירָךְ טַעַם!
אַךְ יֵשׁ בְּפִי חֵץ, אִם בְּפִיכֶם רַעַם,
אֵדַע נְשֹׁךְ, אִם תֵּדְעוּ לִצְרֹחַ.

חִרְצוּ לְשׁוֹנְכֶם, עַם חֲסֵרֵי מֹחַ,
הִלְמוּ פְּנֵי שִׁירִי כְּהוֹלֵם פַּעַם!
אָכֵן לְמֵרָחוֹק יְהִי הַזַּעַם,
לָמָּה לְפִי תִהְיוּ שְׁבִי מַלְקוֹחַ?

הִנְנִי אֲרִי טוֹרֵף לְבוּשׁ עוֹר כֶּשֶׂב,
גַּם רוֹדְפַי פִּתְאֹם בְּשִׁנַּי אַחַץ,
אוֹי אֶל נְשׁוּכֵיהֶם וְרֹב צַלְמָוֶת:

לֹא יַחֲלִים אוֹתָם צֳרִי אוֹ עֵשֶב,
אֶרֶס אֱמֶת אַטִּיל בְּתוֹךְ הַמַּחַץ,
אֶרֶס אֲשֶׁר יָמִית כְּסַם הַמָּוֶת.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

‘Útzu, kelavím tzoʕakím linbóaḥ,
Hav — tzaʕakú — hav hav, le-shirákh táʕam!
‘Akh yeish be-fí ḥeitz, ‘im be-fikhém ráʕam,
‘Eidáʕ neshókh, ‘im teidʕú litzróaḥ.

Ḥirtzú leshonkhém, ʕam ḥaseiréi móaḥ,
Hilmú penéi shirí ke-holéim páʕam!
‘Akhéin le-mei-raḥók yehí ha-záʕam,
Lámah le-fí tiheyú sheví malkóaḥ?

Hinení ‘arí toréif levúsh ʕor késev,
Gam rodfái pit’óm be-shinái ‘áḥatz,
‘Oi ‘el neshukheihém ve-róv tzalmávet:

Lo yaḥalím ‘otám tzorí ‘o ʕéisev,
‘Éres ’emét ‘atíl be-tókh ha-máḥatz,
‘Éres ‘ashér yamít ke-sám ha-mávet.

  2 Responses to “Yaakov Frances, “Utzu, Kelavim””

  1. oh BURN.

  2. You’re 16hundred and late….

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