May 232013
 

You know this is pretty much the only place to find Yosef Tzarfati poems on the Internet in Hebrew, let alone English? I don’t even think most of these have been translated in any medium, except the small handful in the Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse. It’s a valuable public service I’m doing.

Yosef Tzarfati (? – 1527)
I See a Gazelle

I see a gazelle who ascends far above
  All young fawns of grace, from my refuge I fly,
Lest she make for me a tight snare from her locks,
  Lest I’m felled by arrows from her great supply.
Alone she has reigned over all graceful girls,
  Two lights, like a crown, ring her forehead on high.
She’s beauty by nature, without her all girls
  Would have to be cleaned off with whitewash and lye.

יוסף צרפתי
אראה צביה

 
אֵרְאֶה צְבִיָּה עָלְתָה עַל־יֶתֶר
 כָּל־יַעֲלוֹת הַחֵן וְאֶבְרַח סֵתֶר
פֶּן־תַּעֲשֶׁה רֶשֶׁת בְּשַׂעְרָהּ לִי וּפֶן־
 אֶפֹּל בְּחִצִּים כּוֹנֲנָה עַל־יֶתֶר
זֹאת מָלְכָה עַל־כָּל־בְּנוֹת הַחֵן וְעַל־
 רֹאשָׁהּ שְׁנֵי אוֹרִים וְכִדְמוּת כֶּתֶר
יָפָה בְטִבְעָהּ הִיא וּבִלְתָּהּ כָּל־בְּנוֹת
 הַחֵן תְּכַבֵּסְנָה בְסִיד וּבְנֶתֶר.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

‘Eir’éh tzeviyáh ʕaltáh ʕal yéter
Kol yaʕalót ha-ḥéin ve-‘evráḥ séiter
Pen taʕaséh réshet be-saʕráh li u-fén
‘Epól ve-ḥitzím konanáh ʕal yéter
Zot malkháh ʕal kol benót ha-ḥein ve-ʕál
Rosháh shenéi ‘orím ve-khi-demút kéter
Yafáh ve-tivʕáh hi u-viltáh kol benót
Ha-ḥein tekhabéisnah ve-síd u-ve-néter.

May 222013
 

A famously moving elegy for the poet’s first-born brother.

Shmuel ha-Nagid (993 – 1056?)
Is There a Sea

Is there a sea ‘twixt me and you / that I won’t turn to face your form?
That I won’t run with trembling heart / to sit myself beside your grave?
For truly, if I acted thus / I would betray our brothers’ love!
Alas, my brother, here I sit / before you, here beside your grave
For pain you stir within my heart / the same as on the day you died.
And should I give you tidings now / I’d never hear your fond reply,
And never shall you greet me on / the day I come unto your ground,
And in my presence you won’t laugh / the same as I won’t laugh in yours,
And my own likeness you won’t see / the same way I won’t witness yours,
For Sheol is your house and home / the grave your only dwelling place —
My father’s first, my mother’s son, / O, peace to you here at your last,
And may God’s spirit find its rest / upon your spirit and your soul!
And I return to my own land / for in your land you’re sealed away.
I’ll sleep at times and wake at times — / but you’re forever locked in sleep,
And ’til the day my passing comes / your absence keeps my heart aflame!

שמואל הנגיד / إسماعيل بن النغريلة
הים ביני ובינך

 
הֲיָם בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶךָ / וְלֹא אֶטֶּה לְחַלוֹתְךָ
וְלֹא אָרוּץ בְּלֵב חָרֵד / וְאֵשֵׁב עַל קְבוּרָתְךָ?
אֱמֶת, אִם אֶעֱשֶׂה כָזֹאת / אֱהִי בוֹגֵד בְּאַחְוָתְךָ!
אֲהָה, אָחִי, אֲנִי יוֹשֵב / עֲלֵי קִבְרָךְ לְעֻמָּתְךָ
לְךָ מַכְאוֹב בְּתוֹך לִבִּי / כְּמַכְאוֹבִי בְמִיתָתְךָ.
וְאִם אֶתֵּן לְךָ שָׁלוֹם – / וְלֹא אֶשְׁמַע תְשׁוּבָתְךָ,
וְלֹא תֵצֵא לְפָגְשֵׁנִי / בְּיוֹם בּוֹאִי לְאַדְמָתְךָ,
וְלֹא תִשְׂחַק בְּקִרְבָתִי / וְלֹא אֶשְׂחַק בְּקִרְבָתְךָ,
וְלֹא תִרְאֶה תְמוּנָתִי / וְלֹא אֶרְאֶה תְמוּנָתְךָ,
לְמַעַן כִּי שְׁאוֹל בֵּיתְךָ / וּבַקֶּבֶר מְעוֹנָתְךָ –
בְּכוֹר אָבִי וּבֶן אִמִּי, / שְׁלוֹמִים לָךְ בְּאַחְרִיתְךָ,
וְרוּחַ אֵל תְּהִי נָחָה / עֲלֵי רוּחָךְ וְנִשְמָתְךָ!
אֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ לְאַרְצִי, כִּי / בְּאֶרֶץ סָגְרוּ אוֹתְךָ.
וְאָנוּם עֵת וְאִיקַץ עֵת – / וְאַתְּ לָעַד בְּנוּמָתְךָ,
וְעַד בּוֹא יוֹם חֲלִיפָתִי / בְּלִבִּי אֵשׁ פְּרִידָתְךָ!
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Ha-yám beiní u-veinékha / ve-ló ‘etéh le-ḥalotkhá
Ve-ló ‘arútz be-léiv ḥaréid / ve-‘eishéiv ʕal kevuratkhá?
‘Emét, ‘im ‘eʕeséh kha-zót / ‘ehí vogéid be-‘aḥvatkhá!
‘Aháh, ‘aḥí, ‘aní yoshéiv / ʕaléi kivrákh leʕumatkhá
Lekhá makh’óv be-tókh libí / ke-makh’oví ve-mitatkhá.
Ve-‘ím ‘etén lekhá shalóm — / ve-ló ‘eshmáʕ teshuvatkhá,
Ve-ló teitzéi lefogshéini / be-yóm bo’í le-‘admatkhá,
Ve-ló tisḥák be-kirvatí / ve-ló ‘esḥák be-kirvatkhá,
Ve-ló tir’éh temunatí / ve-ló ‘er’éh temunatkhá
Le-máʕan ki she’ól beitkhá / u-va-kéver meʕonatkhá —
Bekhór ‘aví u-vén ‘imí, / shelomím lakh be-‘aḥritkhá,
Ve-rúḥ ‘eil tehí naḥáh / ʕaléi ruḥákh ve-nishmatkhá!
‘Aní holéikh le-artzí, ki / be-‘éretz sagrú ‘otkhá.
Ve-‘anúm ʕeit ve-‘ikátz ʕeit — / ve-‘át la-ʕád be-numatkhá,
Ve-ʕád bo yom ḥalifatí / be-libí ‘eish peridatkhá!

May 202013
 

The central joke of this satirical poem, describing a voyage made by a French Jew into the wilds of Ashkenaz (Jewish Germany), is a cross-linguistic pun. Each stanza ends with two quotes from Jeremiah; the pun is in the first, ki lo ‘alman yisra’eil. ‘Alman, “forsaken” (or widowed) just so happens to be a near homophone of the French Allemand, “German.” What the refrain actually says, then, is “for a German [Ashkenazi] is not a Jew.”

I did this poem in calligraphy as a parting gift for a French Sephardi friend going back to France after a long sojourn in the current Ashkenazi heartland, these blessed United States of America. He appreciated the thought.

Anonymous (late Middle Ages?)
The Day That I Went Out from France

The day that I went out from France
And towards German lands made my advance
I found cruel people at first glance
Like ostriches in the wild plain
For Israel is not forsaken 1
What has straw to do with grain? 2

I had hoped to find salvation
A day of rest and relaxation
Yet their offerings lacked consideration 3
My heart was cleft in twain
For Israel is not forsaken
What has straw to do with grain?

I searched the breadth of all Alsace
No man knew its worth I came across
Oh, would that its ways were not such chaos —
Overriding men, the women reign
For Israel is not forsaken
What has straw to do with grain?

I’ve grown utterly sick of Ashkenazim
For each one is fierce of face, I deem
Even their beards like goats’ beards seem
Heed not their words, all said in vain
For Israel is not forsaken
What has straw to do with grain?

משורר עלום שם
יום מצרפת יצאתי

 
יוֹם מִצָּרְפַת יָצָאתִי
אֶל אֶרֶץ אַשְׁכְּנַז יָרַדְתִּי
וְעַם אַכְזָר מָצָאתִי
כַּיְעֵנִים בַּמִּדְבָּר
כִּי לֹא אַלְמָן יִשְׂרָאֵל
מַה לַּתֶּבֶן אֶת הַבָּר?
 
צִפִּיתִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה
יוֹם נֹפֶשׁ וּמַרְגוֹעַ
וּמִנְחָתָם בְּלִי שָׁעָה
לְבָבִי הָיָה נִשְׁבָּר
כִּי לֹא אַלְמָן יִשְׂרָאֵל
מַה לַּתֶּבֶן אֶת הַבָּר?
 
חִפַּשְׂתִּי אֶלְזוּשׂ אָרְכָּהּ
וְלֹא יָדַע אֱנוֹשׁ עֶרְכָּהּ
לוּלֵי שֶֹלֹא כְּדַרְכָּהּ
הָאִשָּׁה עַל אִישׁ תִּגְבַּר
כִּי לֹא אַלְמָן יִשְׂרָאֵל
מַה לַּתֶּבֶן אֶת הַבָּר?
 
קַצְתִּי מְאֹד בְּאַשְׁכְּנַזִּים
כִּי הֵם כֻּלָּם פָּנִים עַזִּים
אַף זְקָנָם כְּמוֹ עִזִּים
אַל תַּאֲמֵן לָהֶם דָּבָר!
כִּי לֹא אַלְמָן יִשְׂרָאֵל
מַה לַּתֶּבֶן אֶת הַבָּר?
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Yom mi-tzarfát yatzáti
‘El ‘éretz ‘ashkenáz yarádeti
Ve-ʕám ‘akhzár matzáti
Ka-yeʕeiním ba-midbár
Ki lo ‘almán yisra’éil
Mah la-téven ‘et ha-bár?

Tzipíti li lishuʕáh
Yom nófesh u-margóaʕ
U-minḥatám belí shaʕáh
Levaví hayáh nishbár
Ki lo ‘almán yisra’éil
Mah la-téven ‘et ha-bár?

Ḥipásti ‘elzús ‘orkáh
Ve-ló yadáʕ ‘enósh ʕerkáh
Luléi she-ló ke-darkáh
Ha-‘isháh ʕal ‘ish tigbár
Ki lo ‘almán yisra’éil
Mah la-téven ‘et ha-bár?

Kátzti me’ód be-‘ashkenazím
Ki heim kulám paním ʕazím
‘Af zekanám kemó ʕizím
‘Al ta’améin lahém davár!
Ki lo ‘almán yisra’éil
Mah la-téven ‘et ha-bár?

  1. Jeremiah 51:5.
  2. Jeremiah 23:28.
  3. Genesis 4:5.
May 122013
 

It’s my favorite Roman/Florentine again!

Yosef Tzarfati (? – 1527)
My Gazelle, I Shall Flee

My gazelle, I shall flee from girls of my age
  For all shapely women you make appear veiled;
With your beauty you laughed at the stars on high,
  And the sun underneath your heel you have crushed.
For days you have hunted your prey — my own mind,
  For my ev’ry thought your tight nets you have spread.
And my soul is crushed as it leans towards your lust,
  With thoughts of your love it has been overweighed.
To the sight of your grace, my heart’s joy, I’ll pray:
  ”Be kind, please show mercy,” I’ll tell it aloud,
“And your mistress’ heart, please turn towards my plea —
  And pity the soul in her footsteps’ mud ground.”
My dear, if I’d have but your tidings I’d scorn
  The sun in the heavens, the land most despised;
I won’t even sense if you choose me — will not
  My own flesh be before all my comrades abhorred?
The vapor of all the world’s matter I seem;
  You alone shall be in my treasuries concealed.
Among lions’ jaws I’d not fear for my soul,
  As between your arms I would find my escape.
For your beauty I’d trade the treetops and palms,
  In pleading your value, gorgeous as myrtles.
Glory without you against you’s disgraceful,
  Before you all charms of the world are consumed.
Please may it be that I perish tomorrow
  And not have to taste of this world one more crumb,
And would that this doe of grace be mine today,
  Enticed, or brought in to me, or made to stay!

יוסף צרפתי
צביה מבנות דורי

 
צְבִיָּה מִבְּנוֹת דּוֹרִי אֲנוּסָה
 אֲשֶׁר שַׂמְתְּ כָּל־יְפַת־תֹּאַר מְכֻסָּה
וְצָחַקְתְּ אֶל־צְבָא מָרוֹם בְּיָפְיֵךְ
 וְהַשֶּׁמֶשׁ בְּכַף רַגְלֵךְ דְּרוּסָה
תְּמוֹל לָכְדָה מְצוּדָתֵךְ זְמָמַי
 וְרִשְׁתֵּךְ עַל־מְזִמּוֹתַי פְּרוּסָה
וְנַפְשִׁי גָרְסָה אֶל־תַּאֲוָתֵךְ
 בְּמַשָּׂא מַחְשְׁבוֹת חִשְׁקֵךְ עֲמוּסָה
פְּנֵי חַסְדֵּךְ מְשׂוֹשׂ לִבִּי אֲפַלֵּל
 וְאֹמְרָה נָא חֲמֹל עָלַי וְחוּסָה
וְהַטֵּה לֵב גְּבִרְתֵּךְ אֶל־צְלוֹתִי
 לְחֹן נֶפֶשׁ בְּטִיט נַעְלָהּ רְמוּסָה
יְדִידָה אִם שְׁלוֹמֵךְ לִי, אֲבַזֶּה
 חַמַת שַׁחַק וְגַם אֶרֶץ כְּעוּסָה
וְלֹא אָחוּשׁ בְּבָחְרֵךְ בִּי הֲתִהְיֶה
 גְּוִיָּתִי לְכָל־יוֹדְעַי מְאוּסָה
לְהֶבֶל כָּל־רְכוּשׁ תֵּבֵל אֲדַמֶה
 לְבַד תִּהְיִי בְאוֹצְרוֹתַי כְּמוּסָה
וְלֹא אִירָא לְנַפְשִׁי תּוֹךְ לְבָאִים
 בְּמָצְאִי בֵין זְרֹעַיִךְ מְנוּסָה
בְּיָפְיֵךְ אַחֲלִיף תָּמָר וְאָמִיר
 בְּחִין עֶרְכֵּךְ פְּאֵר כַּנֵי הֲדַסָּה
הֲדַר בִּלְתֵּךְ לְעֻמָּתֵךְ מְבִזָּה
 וְכָל־חֶמְדָּה לְפָנַיִךְ נְתוּסָה
וּמִי יִתֵּן וְאֶגְוַע מָחֳרָת יוֹם
 וְלֹא אֶטְעַם בְּתֵבֵל עוֹד פְּרוּסָה
וְתֶהִי יַעֲלַת־חֵן לִי כְּהַיּוֹם
 מְפֻתָּה אוֹ כְנוּסָה אוֹ אֲנוּסָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Tzeviyáh, mi-benót dorí ‘anusáh
‘Ashér samt kol yefát tó’ar mekhusáh
Ve-tzaḥákt ‘el tzevá maróm be-yofyéikh
Ve-ha-shémesh be-kháf ragléikh derusáh
Temól lakhdáh metzudatéikh zemamái
Ve-rishtéikh ʕal mezimotái perusáh
Ve-nafshí garsáh ‘el ta’aváteikh
Be-masá maḥshevót ḥishkéikh ʕamusáh
Penéi ḥasdéikh mesós libí ‘afaléil
Ve-‘omráh na ḥamól ʕalái ve-ḥusáh
Ve-hatéih leiv gevirtéikh ‘el tzelotí
Laḥón néfesh be-tít naʕláh remusáh
Yedidáh ‘im sheloméikh li, ‘avazéh
Ḥamát sháḥak ve-gám ‘éretz keʕusáh
Ve-ló ‘aḥúsh be-voḥréikh bi ha-tihyéh
Geviyatí le-khól yodʕái me’usáh
Le-hével kol rekhúsh teivéil ‘adaméh
Levád tihyí ve-‘otzrotái kemusáh
Ve-ló ‘irá le-nafshí tokh leva’ím
Be-motz’í vein zeroʕáyikh menusáh
Be-yofyéikh ‘aḥalíf tamár ve-‘amír
Be-ḥín ʕerkéikh pe’éir kanéi hadasáh
Hadár biltéikh le-ʕumatéikh mevizáh
Ve-khól ḥemdáh lefanáyikh netusáh
U-mí yitéin ve-‘egváʕ maḥarát yom
Ve-ló ‘etʕám be-teivéil ʕod perusáh
Ve-tehí yaʕalát ḥein li ke-ha-yóm
Mefutáh ‘o khenusáh ‘o ‘anusáh.

May 112013
 

Hey, I know that guy!

Immanuel of Rome (1261 – 1328)
The Day That I Called on My Friend

The day that I called on my friend to give aid,
  Quick as a bird from his nest he drew near;1
The day that I called him that he might aid me,
  He fell silent as snakes that seal off the ear.2.
Like the dog of a man who makes works out of iron,
  Whose home and hearth are the forge he appears:
Who sleeps and who naps through the sound of the hammer;
  Who wakes up at mealtime — his teeth he can hear!

עמנואל הרומי
דוד יום קראתיהו

 
דּוֹד יוֹם קְרָאתִיהוּ לְעֶזְרָתוֹ
 גָּז חִיש כְּצִפּוֹר מִמְּרוֹם קִנּוֹ
אַךְ יוֹם לְעֶזְרָתִי קְרָאתִיהוּ
 הֶחְרִישׁ כְּפֶתֶן יַאֲטֵם אָזְנוֹ
נִדְמֶה לְכֶלֶב אִישׁ חֲרַשׁ בַּרְזֶל
 בֵּית הוֹלְמִים שִׁבְתּוֹ וּמִשְׁכָּנוֹ
יִישַׁן לְקוֹל פַּטִּישׁ וְיֵרָדֵם
 יִיקַץ לְעֵת אֹכֶל לְקוֹל שִׁנּוֹ.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Dod yom keratíhu le-ʕezrató
Gaz ḥish ke-tzipór mi-meróm kinó
‘Akh yom le-ʕezratí keratíhu
Heḥerísh ke-féten ya’atéim ‘oznó
Nidméh le-khélev ‘ish ḥarásh barzél
Beit holmím shivtó u-mishkanó
Yishán le-kól patísh ve-yeiradéim
Yikátz le-ʕeit ‘ókhel le-kól shinó.

  1. Psalm 90:10.
  2. Psalm 58:5
May 102013
 

If you hadn’t already noticed, I’ve set out a shingle and opened up a shop for custom Hebrew calligraphy. That means any poem on this whole site (in the public domain) that you like (or anything else, really) can be turned into a frame-ready piece of calligraphy suitable for accenting any room or office, or pawning off on any friend or relative you can’t think of a more practical gift for.

And though I passionately despise Facebook and all its works and all its pomps, my legal counsel insisted – quite forcefully, and repeatedly, and without consideration of my delicate poet’s feelings (“Dude, I love you, but you’re an idiot”) – that I create a Facebook page for this site’s poetry and calligraphy. Apparently it’s all about getting the eyeballs. Or the clicks. Or the likes. Or the whatevers. I am wary at best of all this online social media marketing absurdity (despite having done it for a living back when it was slightly less batshit insane). But if it’s not out of your way, please like Soul and Gone’s Facebook page, or direct your friends to it, or however it actually works (I am not entirely sure, honestly). Tell your Bible-thumping Christian friends I do Bible verses (although please also note to them that things like “love is patient, love is kind” and “for God so loved the world” were actually originally written in Greek; this has been a recurring problem for me).

I will continue translating Hebrew poetry into English on the regular for absolutely free, of course. That is Soul and Gone’s mission statement, such as it is. But if you’ve got Hebrew calligraphy needs, keep a brother in mind. I need a new lightbox, and wine isn’t free.

Love,
Michael

P.S. This just happens to be this blog’s 300th post! It’s gotta be mazldik!

May 102013
 

Has it really been almost a month since our last Vogel? Impossible. Neruda, you silver-tongued devil.

David Vogel (1891 – 1944)
Tell Me, Girl

Tell me, girl,
why don’t you go out with your friends
towards the hill,
to watch the setting sun in silence?

True, the day’s already ebbed
trembling restrained recoils from the world.

Slow despair sinks rosy-hued inside each heart.

Why sit so dim
upon the window
your eye treading down the bridge?

דוד פוגל
אמרי לי, עלמה


אִמְרִי לִי, עַלְמָה,
לָמָּה לֹא תֵצְאִי עִם רַעֲיוֹתַיִךְ
אֶל הַגִּבְעָה,
לִרְאוֹת דּוּמָם בַּהֲלוֹךְ הַשָּׁמֶשׁ?

הֵן כְּבָר רַד הַיּוֹם
רְעָדָה נֶעֱצֶרֶת סוֹלְדָה בַתֵּבֵל.

יָגוֹן וָרֹד אַט יִשְׁקַע בַּלְּבָבוֹת.

לָמָּה תֵשְׁבִי כֵהָה
עַל הַחַלּוֹן
וְעֵינֵךְ תָּרָד אֶת הַגָּשֶׁר?
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

‘Imrí li, ʕalmáh,
lámah lo teitz’í ʕim raʕayotáyikh
‘el ha givʕáh,
lir’ót dumám ba-halókh ha-shámesh?

Hein kevár rad ha-yóm
Reʕadáh neʕetzéret soldáh va-teivéil.

Yagón varód ‘at yishkáʕ ba-levavót.

Lámah teishví kheiháh
ʕal ha-ḥalón
ve-ʕeinéikh tarád ‘et ha-gásher?

May 082013
 

Y un dolor de cabeza.

Pablo Neruda
En Ti La Tierra

Pequeña
rosa,
rosa pequeña,
a veces,
diminuta y desnuda,
parece
que en una mano mía
cabes,
que así voy a cerrarte
y a llevarte a mi boca,
pero
de pronto
mis pies tocan tus pies y mi boca tus labios,
has crecido,
suben tus hombros como dos colinas,
tus pechos se pasean por mi pecho,
mi brazo alcanza apenas a rodear la delgada
línea de luna nueva que tiene tu cintura:
en el amor como agua de mar te has desatado:
mido apenas los ojos más extensos del cielo
y me inclino a tu boca para besar la tierra.

פבלו נרודה
בך הארץ


שׁוֹשַׁנָּה
קְטַנָּה,
קְטַנַּת הַשּׁוֹשַׁנִּים,
לְעִתִּים,
זְעִירָה וְעֵירוֹמָה,
נִדְמֶה
שְׁבְּתוֹךְ אַחַת מִיָּדַי
תֻּחְזְקִי,
כְּאִלּוּ אֶסְגֹּר עָלָיִךְ כָּכָה
וְאֶשָֹא אוֹתָךְ אֶל פִּי,
אֲבָל
לְפֶתַע
כַּפּוֹת רַגְלַי נוֹגְעוֹת בְּכַפּוֹת רַגְלַיִךְ וּפִי בִשְׂפָתַיִךְ:
גָּדַלְתְּ,
עוֹלוֹת כְּתֵפַיִךְ כְּמוֹ שְׁתֵּי גְּבָעוֹת,
שָׁדַיִךְ מְשׁוֹטְטִים עַל חָזִי,
יָדִי בְּקֹשִׁי מַסְפִּיקָה לְהַקִּיף אֶת הַקַּו
הַדָּק שֶׁל מוֹלַד הַלְּבָנָה שֶׁיֶּשׁ לְמָתְנֵךְ:
בְּאַהֲבָה כְּמוֹ מֵי הַיָּם הִשְׁתַּחְרַרְתְּ:
בְּקֹשִׁי אֲנִי מוֹדֵד אֶת עֵינֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם הָרְחָבוֹת
וַאֲנִי רוֹכֵן אֶל פִּיךְ כְּדֵי לְנַשֵׁק אֶת הָאָרֶץ.
י

May 072013
 

Our tzeviyah doesn’t seem so gentle and doe-eyed all of a sudden.

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
Towards Your Passion’s Victim

Towards your passion’s victim fight firmly and fiercely
With the flame of your exile set Love ablaze brightly,
You’ve scorned me and thus you thrust towards me your spear;
I scorn my own soul — may you empty me, spill me!
Beloved, your lover’s unfit for captivity;
Send off these chariots of exile; draw near me.
Turn this bed of my suffering to one of sweet pleasures
And nurse your beloved with milk and with honey.

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
לקראת חלל חשקך

 
לִקְרַאת חֲלַל חִשְׁקֵךְ קְרָב הַחְזִיקִי
וּבְאֵשׁ נְדֹד הָאַהֲבָה הַדְלִיקִי
מָאַסְתְּ בִּי עַל כֵּן תְּרִיקִין לִי חֲנִית
וַאְנִי בְּנַפְשִׁי אֶמְאֲסָה הָרִיקִי
רַעְיַת צְבִי לֹא טוֹב הֱיוֹת דּוֹדֵךְ שְׁבִי
קִרְבִי וְרִכְבֵי הַנְּדֹד הַרְחִיקִי
עֶרֶשׂ דְּוָי הִפְכִי לְעֶרֶשׂ תַּעֲנוּג
וּדְבַשׁ וְחָלָב אֹהֲבֵךְ הָנִיקִי.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Likrát ḥalál ḥishkéikh keráv haḥzíki
U-ve-‘éish nedód ha-‘ahaváh hadlíki
Ma’ást bi ʕal kein terikín li ḥanít
Va’aní be-nafshí ’em’asáh haríki
Raʕyát tzeví lo tov heyót dodéikh sheví
Kirví ve-rikhvéi ha-nedód harḥíki
ʕéres devái hifkhí le-ʕéres taʕanúg
U-devásh ve-ḥaláv ‘ohavéikh haníki.