Apr 282014
 

“I bet the [girl] [he] was singing that about was real happy.”
“Well, actually, [he] was singing about God.”
“Oh, well, he’s always happy. No, wait, he’s always mad…”

Yisrael Najara (1555? – 1625?)
Arrows the Bow of Your Eye Has Drawn

Arrows the bow of your eye has drawn; opposed my heart stands as their aim
Away turn your eyes from my own; pity the heart that your wand’ring shan’t tire,
With desire for you, doe of dazzling acclaim.

I labored to wonder and gaze on the eye that would sparkle with flame
Many maidens are worthy, but you are valued and precious, and none are the same
How might I forget you, O daughter of nobles, if my soul to yours has been chained?
To the place you desire, arise and return; the scattered lambs I shall reclaim
Be you firm, for you’ll no longer be least among wives;1 “princess” shall be your name.

ישראל נג’ארה
ידרוך חציו קשת עינך

 
יִדְרוֹךְ חִצָּיו קֶשֶׁת עֵינֵךְ לִּבִּי נִצָּב לוֹ מַטָּרָה
הָסֵבִּי עֵינֵךְ מִנֶּגְדִּי חוּסִי עַל־לֵב לִנְדוּדֵךְ לֹא יָנוּם
לְחִשְׁקֵךְ לֹא יָנוּם יַעֲלַת תִּפְאָרָה.
 
שָׁקַדְתִּי לִהְיוֹת מִשְׁתָּאֶה מַבִּיט עַיִן תּוֹפַע נְהָרָה
רַבּוֹת בָּנוֹת יָקְרוּ אַךְ אַתְּ עֲרוּכָה בַכֹּל וּשְׁמוּרָה
אֵיךְ אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ בַּת נָדִיב אִם נַפְשֵׁךְ עִם נַפְשִׁי נִקְשָׁרָה
לִמְחוֹז חֶפְצֵךְ קוּמִי עֲלִי עַתָּה אֶקְבֹּץ שֶׂה פְּזוּרָה
חִזְקִי כִּי לֹא יִקָּרֵא עוֹד שְׁמֵךְ צָרָה כִּי אִם שָׂרָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Yidrókh ḥitzáv qéshet ʕeinéikh libí nitzáv lo mataráh
Haséibi ʕeinéikh mi-negdí ḥúsi ʕal leiv lindudékh lo yanúm
Le-ḥishqéikh lo yanúm yaʕalát tif’aráh.

Shaqádeti lihyót mishta’éh mabít ʕáyin tofáʕ neharáh
Rabót banót yaqrú ‘akh ‘at ʕarukháh va-kól u-shemuráh
‘Eikh ‘eshkaḥéikh bat nadív ‘im nafshéikh ʕim nafshí niqsharáh
Limḥóz ḥeftzéikh qúmi ʕalí ʕatáh eqbótz seh pezuráh
Ḥizqi ki lo yiqaréi ʕod shméikh tzaráh ki ‘im saráh.

  1. צרה here can have a number of potentially correct readings: “sorrow,” “enemy” or “subordinate wife.” I think the latter is correct, since “princess” (sarah) is of course the name of Abraham’s beloved primary wife.

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