Jun 122014
 

Immanuel of Rome (1261 – 1328)
All You Who Ask

All you who ask why my tent I’ve deserted
Know not that it was what harsh Time demanded;
By him a cup of wormwood I’ve been handed,
‘Til all my own desires were subverted.

I’ve grown so weary of his charms perverted;
For all Time lends, I might say, being candid,
Are sorry days so I might well be branded
As like these camps of God1 I’ve often skirted.

I hate the Time I once appreciated;
I see my spirit bowing, deeply flustered,
To the mount of fools — how I’m frustrated!

Time knew that all its tents I dearly hated,
So for my kikayon a worm2 he’s mustered;
Perhaps, friends, for the best I’m mutilated.

עמנואל הרומי
השואלים איך אהלי נטשתי

 
הַשֹּׁאֲלִים אֵיךְ אָהֳלִי נָטַשְׁתִּי
לֹא תֵדְעוּ כִּי כֵן זְמָן צִוַּנִי
הוּא מַמְּרוֹר עִם לַעֲנָה הִרְוַנִי
עַד מִמְּצוֹא חֶפְצִי אֱמֶת נוֹאַשְׁתִּי
 
קַצְתִּי בְמַחְמַדָּיו וּבוֹ נִבְאַשְׁתִּי
מָה אֹמְרָה עוֹד הַזְּמָן הִלְוַנִי
יָמִים יְמֵי עֶצֶב עֲדֵי הִשְׁוַנִי
אֶל מַחֲנוֹת הָאֵל אֲשֶׁר פָּגַשְׁתִּי
 
אֶשְׂנָא זְמָן תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר קִנֵּאתִי
כִּי אֶחֱזֶה נַפְשִׁי אֲשֶׁר כּוֹרַעַת
אֶל הַר פְּתַיּוּת עַד אֲשֶׁר נַעְנֵיתִי
 
יָדַע זְמָן כִּי אָהֳלָיו שָׂנֵּאתִי
עַל כֵּן לְקִיקְיוֹנִי יְמָן תּוֹלַעַת
אוּלַי יְדִידַי כִּי לְטוֹב עֻנֵּיתִי.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Ha-sho’alím ‘eikh ‘ohalí natáshti
Lo tedʕú ki khein zemán tziváni
Hu mamrór ʕim laʕanáh hirváni
ʕad mimtzó ḥeftzí ’emét no’áshti.

Qátzti ve-maḥmadáv u-vó niv’áshti
Mah ‘ómrah ʕod ha-zemán hilváni
Yamím yeméi ʕétzev ʕadéi hishváni
‘El maḥanót ha-‘éil ‘ashér pagáshti.

‘Esná zemán táḥat ‘ashér qinéiti
Ki ‘eḥezéh nafshí ‘ashér koráʕat
‘El har petayút ʕad ‘ashér naʕnéiti.

Yadáʕ zemán ki ‘ohaláv sanéiti
ʕal kein le-qiqyoní yemán toláʕat
‘Ulai yedidái ki le-tóv ʕunéiti.

  1. Judging from the context in which this sonnet appears in Immanuel’s Mahberot, he’s referring to the Jewish communities the narrator moves through, which he seems to view as being uniformly full of idiots.
  2. A reference to the story of Jonah and his beloved shady kikayon.

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