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!