Feb 232016
 

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
The Beauty Who Gilds Her Adornments

The beauty who gilds her adornments
with the light from the strand ’round her neck –
myrtles strained to surround the place where she lay
for they yearned for the scent of her oils.
How lovely her crimsoning brightness
from under the greens of her clouds –
the moment the sun so ashamed hid its face
it sent clouds so they’d cover her own.

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
יפה תייפה שהרוניה

 
יָפָה תְיַפֶּה שַׂהֲרֹנֶיהָ
אוֹר הָעֲנָק מִצַּוְרֹנֶיהָ
סַבּוּ הֲדַסִּים אֶת מְסִבָּתָהּ
כּי חָמְדוּ רֵיחַ שְׁמָנֶיהָ
יָפוּ אֲדַמְדַּמֵּי מְאוֹרֶיהָ
תַּחַת יְרַקְרַקֵּי עֲנָנֶיהֶ
חַמָּה בְּעֵת הִתְעַלְּמָה שָׂמָה
עָבוֹת מְקוֹם עָבוֹת לְפָנֶיהָ.י

Jan 162015
 

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
To Each Nose Ascends

To each nose ascends the scent of perfume
When bright Venus above is bound to the Moon
With their brilliance the whole of Earth is illumed
By purest white light, unspoiled by clouds’ gloom
Every man’s heart shall exult and make love
And old Time himself shall delight in glad tunes
Be merry, rejoice, and glory drink down
A most serene guise the king’s daughter assumes
Will not lovers indulge you with the warmth of their breasts
And carpets and couches with verdure bestrewn?

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
בכל אף יעלה

 
בְּכָל אַף יַעֲלֶה רֵיחַ לְבוֹנָה
בְּיוֹם הֵילֵל מְחֻבָּר אֶל לְבָנָה
וְעַל כָּל פַּאֲתֵי תֵבֵל נְהָרָה
וְהָאוֹר צַח וְאֵין עָלָיו עַנָנָה
וְיִתְעַלֵּס לְבַב כֹּל בָּאֳהָבִים
וְיֵעָלֵס זְמָן בִּכְנַף רְנָנָה
חֲדֵה וּשְׁמַח וְרַוֵּה עִם כְּבוּדָה
וּבַת מֶלֶךְ פְּנִימָה שַׁאֲנַנָּה
הֲלֹא דוֹדִים יְרַוּוּךָ בְדַדִּים
וּמַרְבַדִּים וְעֶרֶשׂ רַעֲנָנָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Be-khól ‘af yaʕaléh réi’aḥ levonáh
Be-yóm heilél meḥubár ‘el levanáh
Ve-ʕal kol pa’atéi teivéil neharáh
Ve-ha-ór tzaḥ ve-‘éin ʕaláv ʕananáh
Ve-yitʕaléis leváv kol ba-‘ohavím
Ve-yeiʕaléis zemán bikhnáf renanáh
Ḥadéih u-semáḥ ve-ravéih ʕim kevudáh
U-vat mélekh penímah sha’ananáh
Ha-ló dodím yeravúkha ve-dadím
U-marvadím ve-ʕéres raʕananáh.

May 042014
 

Been awhile since I’ve done one of the Rihal’s love poems.

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
To That Doe of a Girl, My Goodwill

To that doe of a girl, my goodwill!
May her passion’s flame burn in me still!

The fawn who like sunlight arose
Who tortures her love as she roams
Oh, would that this pain she’d depose,
Whether by vow, or by free will,
And me, may she swear not to kill!

My life only dwells by her leave
And spirits to her firmly cleave
Grace from her words all receive
Her mouth scatters gemstones and crystal
She forms from it jewels with her skill

A portrait of beauty’s her hair,
But how can a doe rend and tear
like lions at men pure and fair?
Your eyes see no worth in my soul –
From mine bitter tears endless roll.

Bear witness, my doe, with your cheeks
To my blood, how you strive and you seek
To end me, before my life’s peak;
Your sin you don’t try to conceal;
Your judgment you cannot appeal.

I remember the day when she aimed
To revive me, a vow never shamed,
With two apples,1 my soul she reclaimed,
To me she came back, to my thrill,
She’d pricked me2 and I felt it still.

The whole day she clung to my side,
But fled as the sun fled the sky
To go on her way, and she bitterly cried.

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
שלום לצביה נערה

 
שָׁלוֹם לַצְּבִיָה נַעֲרָה
וְאִם אֵשׁ חִשְׁקָהּ בִּי בָעֲרָה
 
יַעְלָה כַּשֶׁמֶשׁ עָלְתָה
דּוֹדָהּ בִּנְדוֹדָהּ עִנְּתָה
אִם הָרָעָה לִי כָלְתָה
מֵאִתָּהּ, אוֹ אִם נָדְרָה
וּלְהָרְגִי אִסָּר אָסְרָה
 
חַיִּים בִּרְצוֹנָהּ יִשְׁכְּנוּ
וּרְפָאִים עִמָּהּ נִתְכְּנוּ
מִדְבָּרֶיהָ חֵן יִתְּנוּ
בְּדֹלַח מִפִּיהָ פִזְּרָה
מֶנְהוּ שְׁנֵי טוּרִים חִבְּרָה
 
צְהוּבַת שֵׂעָר תְמִימַת יְפִי
צְבִיָּה וְאֵיךְ כַּאֲרִי תִּטְרְפִי
הֲטוֹב כִּי אִישׁ נָקִי תִגְּפִי
בְּעֵינֵךְ נַפְשִׁי לֹא יָקְרָה
בְּעֵינַי דִּמְעָה לָךְ נִגְּרָה
 
הֵן בִּלְחָיַיִךְ שָׂהֲדִי
דָּמִי, כִּי עָלַי תִּשְׁקְדִי
לִסְפּוֹתִי טֶרֶם מוֹעֲדִי
זֹאת חַטָּאתֵךְ לֹא נִסְתְּרָה
רְאִי כִּי לֹא תוּכְלִי כַּפְּרָהּ
 
אֶזְכֹּר הַיוֹם אֲשֶׁר יָעֲדָה
לְהַחֲיוֹתִי בוֹ וְלֹא בָגְדָה
וּבִשְׁנֵי תַפּוּחִים רִפְּדָה
נַפְשִׁי וְּלגוּפִי חָזְרָה
וְקֶדֶם אוֹתִי בָּם דָּקְרָה
 
כָּל הַיּוֹם צִדִּי חִבְּקָה
וְעֵת בּוֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ חָמְקָה
לָלֶכֶת לָהּ וּמַר צָעֲקָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Shalóm la-tzeviyáh naʕaráh
Ve-‘ím ‘eish ḥishqáh bi vaʕaráh

Yaʕláh ka-shémesh ʕaltáh
Dodáh bindodáh ʕintáh
‘Im ha-raʕáh li khaltáh
Mei-‘itáh, ‘o ‘im nadráh
U-lehargí ‘isár ‘asráh

Ḥayím birtzonáh yishkenú
U-refa’ím ʕimáh nitkenú
Midbaréha ḥein yitnú
Bedólaḥ mi-píha fizráh
Ménhu shenéi turím ḥibráh

Tzehuvát seiʕár temimát yefí
Tzeviyáh ve-‘éikh ka-‘arí titrefí
Ha-tóv ki ‘ish naqí tigfí
Be-ʕeinéikh nafshí lo yaqráh
Be-ʕeinái dimʕáh lakh nigráh

Hein bilḥayáyikh sahadí
Damí, ki ʕalái tishqedí
Lispotí térem moʕadí
Zot ḥatatéikh lo nisteráh
Re’í ki lo tukhlí kaparáh

‘Ezkór ha-yóm ‘ashér yaʕadáh
Lehaḥayotí vo ve-ló vagdáh
U-vishnéi tapuḥím ripdáh
Nafshí u-le-gufí ḥazráh
Ve-qédem ‘otí bam daqráh

Kol ha-yóm tzidí ḥibqáh
Ve-ʕéit bo ha-shémesh ḥamqáh
Lalékhet lah u-már tzaʕaqáh.

  1. Probably her breasts if we’re being real, or her apple-like cheeks if we’re being prim; either way, Yehuda is playing with the Song of Songs here.
  2. With the “apples,” apparently.
Jun 012013
 

I think Yehuda ha-Levi might have hated being at sea almost as much as David Foster Wallace did.

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
Has There Come a Flood

Has there come a flood, has the world been laid waste,
So that none could see at all the dry land’s face?
There’s no man, no beast, there’s not a bird in sight,
Has all come to end, do all dwell so effaced?
To see mountain or vale, how I’d be relieved,
And the wasteland alone, so sweet to the taste!
Yet I look around and there’s nothing in view
Save water, the sky, and the ship’s deck I pace,
Leviathan seething the depths of the sea,
And I think the abyss with white beard seems graced,
And the heart of the seas refuses the ship,
Like filthiest lucre in her own hands placed.
While the sea rages on, my spirit exults
For towards her God’s temple she draws near with haste.

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
הבא מבול

 
הֲבָא מַבּוּל וְשָׂם תֵּבֵל חֲרֵבָה
וְאֵין לִרְאוֹת פְּנֵי אֶרֶץ חֳרָבָה
וְאֵין אָדָם וְאֵין חַיָּה וְאֵין עוֹף
הֲסָף הַכֹּל וְשָׁכְנוּ מַעֲצֵבָה
וּבִרְאוֹת הַר וְשׁוּחָה לִי מְנוּחָה
וְאֶרֶץ הָעֲרָבָה לִי עֲרֵבָה
וְאַשְׁגִּיחַ לְכָל עֵבֶר וְאֵין כֹּל
אֲבָל מַיִם וְשָׁמַיִם וְתֵבָה
וְלִוְיָתָן בְּהַרְתִּיחוֹ מְצוּלָה
וְאֶחְשֹׁב כִּי תְהוֹם יַחְשֹׁב לְשֵׂיבָה
וְלֵב הַיָּם יְכַחֵשׁ בָּאֳנִיָּה
כְּאִלּוּ הִיא בְּיַד הַיָּם גְּנֵבָה
וְיָם יִזְעַף וְנַפְשִׁי תַעֲלֹז כִּי
אֱלֵי מִקְדַּשׁ אֱלֹהֶיהָ קְרֵבָה.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Ha-vá mabúl ve-sám teivéil ḥareiváh?
Ve-‘éin lir’ót penéi ‘éretz ḥaraváh
Ve-‘éin ‘adám ve-‘éin ḥayáh ve-‘éin ʕof
Ha-sáf ha-kól ve-shakhnú maʕatzeiváh?
U-vire’ót har ve-shuḥáh li menuḥáh
Ve-‘éretz ha-ʕaraváh li ʕareiváh
Ve-‘ashgíaḥ le-khól ʕéiver ve-‘éin kol
‘Avál máyim ve-shamáyim ve-teiváh
Ve-livyatán be-hartiḥó metzuláh
Ve-‘eḥshóv ki tehóm yaḥshóv le-seiváh
Ve-léiv ha-yám yekhaḥéish ba-‘oniyáh
Ke-‘ílu hi be-yád ha-yám geneiváh
Ve-yám yizʕáf ve-nafshí taʕalóz ki
‘Eléi mikdásh ‘elohéha kereiváh.

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.

Apr 282013
 

The best of the Yehuda ha-Levi sea poems! I think. Maybe. Right?

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
Your Wind, O West

Your wind, O West, that blows perfumed and fragrant
Beneath its wings are apricots and spikenard.
You surely came from treasuries of traders;
The treasuries of winds could not have held you.
You lift the sparrow’s wings and cry out “Freedom!”
Like flowing myrrh fresh from the sachet taken,
So deeply for your touch has yearned this nation
It rides atop the waves on planks of timber.
Let not your hold upon the ship grow weaker,
For sinking down and breathing out is daylight,
And hammer down the depths and tear this heart of oceans,
Draw near the holy peaks, there find your comfort,
Berate the East which seethes the sea until it renders
The oceans’ heart the likeness of a cauldron.
What might it do, within the Rock’s hands fettered,
At times held back, at other times sent forward?
My private wish lies in the hands of Heaven,
The maker of the mountain heights, the wind’s creator.

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
זה רוחך צד מערב

 
זֶה רוּחֲךָ צַד מַעֲרָב רָקוּחַ
הַנֵּרְדְּ בִּכְנָפָיו וְהַתַּפּוּחַ
מֵאוֹצְרוֹת הָרֹכְלִים מוֹצָאֲךָ
כִּי אֵינְךָ מֵאוֹצְרוֹת הָרוּחַ
כַּנְפֵי דְּרוֹר תָּנִיף וַתִּקְרָא לִי דְרוֹר
וּכְמָר-דְּרוֹר מִן הַצְּרוֹר לָקוּחַ
מַה-נִּכְסְפוּ לָךְ עָם אֲשֶׁר בִּגְלָלְךָ
רָכְבוּ בְגַב יָם עֲלֵי גַּב-לוּחַ
אַל נָא תְרַפֶּה יָדְךָ מִן הָאֳנִי
כִּי יַחֲנֶה הַיּוֹם וְכִי יָפוּחַ
וּרְקַע תְּהוֹם וּקְרַע לְבַב יַמִּים, וְגַע
אֶל הַרְרֵי קֹדֶשׁ וְשָׁם תָּנוּחַ
וּגְעַר בְּקָדִים הַמְסָעֵר יָם עֲדֵי
יָשִׂים לְבַב הַיָּם כְּסִיר נָפוּחַ
מַה יַעֲשֶׂה אָסוּר בְּיַד הַצּוּר אֲשֶׁר
פַּעַם יְהִי עָצוּר וְעֵת שָׁלוּחַ
אַךְ סוֹד שְׁאֵלָתִי בְּיַד מָרוֹם, וְהוּא
יוֹצֵר מְרוֹם הָרִים וּבוֹרֵא רוּחַ.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Zeh ruḥakhá tzad maʕaráv rakúaḥ
Ha-néird bikhnafáv ve-ha-tapúaḥ
Mei-‘otzrót ha-rokhlím motza’akhá
Ki ‘einkhá mei-‘otzrót ha-rúaḥ
Kanféi derór taníf va-tikrá li derór
Ukh-mór derór min ha-tzerór lakúaḥ
Mah-nikhsefú lakh ʕam ‘ashér biglalkhá
Rakhvú ve-gáv yam ʕaléi gav-lúaḥ
‘Al na terapéh yadkhá min ha-‘oní
Ki yaḥanéh ha-yóm ve-khí yafúaḥ
U-rekáʕ tehóm u-keráʕ leváv yamím, ve-gáʕ
‘El hareréi kódesh ve-shám tanúaḥ
U-geʕár be-kadím ha-mesaʕéir yam ʕadéi
Yasím leváv ha-yám ke-sír nafúaḥ
Mah yaʕaséh ‘asúr be-yád ha-tzúr ‘ashér
Páʕam yehí ʕatzúr ve-ʕéit shalúaḥ
‘Akh sod she’eilatí be-yád maróm, ve-hú
Yotzéir meróm harím u-voréi rúaḥ.

Apr 122013
 

Continuing the “you don’t even know how lovely you are” trend, otherwise known as the “Girl from Ipanema Model” in Hebrew poetics. Or something. Whatever.

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
By Your Lives, Give a Drink

By your lives, give a drink to a wandering soul
Who from this deep sickness is not yet delivered —
In loving a girl who so innocent charges
Yet finds from all men both their heart and their liver.1

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
בחייכם תנו שכר

 
בְּחַיֵיכֶם תְּנוּ שֵׁכָר לְאֹבֵד
אֲשֶׁר חָלָה חֳלִי עָצוּם וְכָבֵד
בְּחֵשֶׁק יַעֲלָה תּוֹרֶה לְתֻמָּהּ
וְתִמְצָא מֵאֲנָשִׁים לֵב וְכָבֵד.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Be-ḥayeikhém tenú sheikhár le-‘ovéid
‘Ashér ḥaláh ḥolí ʕatzúm ve-khavéid
Be-ḥéishek yaʕaláh toréh le-tumáh
Ve-timtzá mei-‘anashím leiv ve-khavéid.

  1. I assume the idea here is that the girl innocently makes men fall in love with her so hard that she gets the liver as well as the heart. You know how they had funny ideas about random organs being the seat of random emotions back in the day.
Mar 302013
 

Hey, there’s still plenty of Yehuda ha-Levi sea voyage poems to translate. Right?

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
I Say Within the Heart of Seas

I say within the heart of seas unto an irate heart
That trembles at the way the breakers surge under the lee,
“If you believe that this great sea was made by mighty God,
Whose name exists and perseveres now and eternally,
Let not the sea seize you with fear as it hurls up its waves,
For it was you that He has made a border to the sea.”

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
אומר בלב ימים

 
אֹמַר בְּלֵב יַמִּים לְלֵב רַגָּז
חָרֵד מְאֹד כִּי נָשְׂאוּ דָכְיָם
אִם תַּאֲמֵן בָּאֵל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה
הַיָּם וְעַד נֵצַח שְׁמוֹ קַיָּם
אַל יַחֲרִידְךָ יָם בְּשׂוֹא גַלָּיו
כִּי עִמְּךָ הַשָּׂם גְּבוּל לַיָּם.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

‘Omár be-léiv yamím le-léiv ragáz
Ḥaréid me’ód ki nas’ú dokhyám
‘Im ta’améin ba-‘éil ‘ashér ʕasáh
Ha-yám ve-ʕád néitzaḥ shemó kayám
‘Al yaḥaridkhá yam be-só galáv
Ki ʕimákh hasám gevúl la-yám.

Feb 182013
 

I thought that it would be appropriate to add to this poem about departing for Zion a reggae song on the same theme. Then I realized there were hundreds of them. I settled on this one, because it is gorgeous. Try to overlook our Rastafarian compatriots’ persistent geographical confusion over the location of Zion; they are very stoned.

Johnny Clarke - Moving On to Zion

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
The Day My Soul Yearned

The day my soul yearned for the House of Assembly
When fear of the voyage had seized me with trembling,
The one great in counsel whirled fair winds for the trip,
I’ll find in his name, in my heart, my refreshment.
To him I shall bow then each step of the way,
And offer thanksgiving for each pace I’m treading.

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
יום נכספה נפשי

 
יוֹם נִכְסְפָה נַפְשִׁי לְבֵית הַוָּעַד
וַיֹּאחֲזֵנִי לַנְּדוּדִים רָעַד,
סִבֵּב גְּדָל עֵצָה עֲלִילֹות לַנְּדֹד
וָאֶמְצְאָה בִשְׁמוֹ בְּלִבִּי סָעַד.
עַל-כֵּן אֲנִי מִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה אֵלָיו בְּכָל
מַסָּע, וְאוֹדֶנּוּ עֲלֵי כָל-צָעַד.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Yom nikhsefáh nafshí le-véit ha-váʕad
Va-yoḥazéini la-nedudím ráʕad,
Sibéiv gedál ʕeitzáh ʕalilót la-nedód
Ve-’emtze’áh vishmó be-liní sáʕad.
ʕal kein ‘aní mishtaḥavéh ‘eiláv be-khól
Masáʕ, ve-‘odénu ʕaléi khol tzáʕad.

Feb 022013
 

See, poems like this muwashshaḥ are the reason Yehuda ha-Levi is, y’know, Yehuda ha-fuckin’-Levi. I promise you, Hebrew-illiterate friends, you are missing out on this one. The last two lines are in Arabic, which was actually fairly easy to decode this time. I also had to offset this one, unfortunately, because the lines are just too long for my site theme. Once again, I have failed.

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
Reveal, O My Sun

    Reveal, O my sun, through the sky of your locks, the light of your cheek unto me
    This captive and slave, so sick with your love, by showing your splendor you’d free

If Time had once thought to keep you restrained, like manna to hide you away
O, look here, within my heart is a place, so steadfast and true, you could dwell
When I hold you tight in the bonds of my thoughts, what could Time think to do then?
    If I forget you and how you appear, O Sun, I’d forget him who made me
    You’re my whole delight, and my every wish ­— what is there between Time and me?

How could you berate a suffering heart which for you had been as a home?
How could I think you an angel to mind me — you burn up the bush here within me!
And if you should wish to witness my death, just call out, I’ll surely reply
    For here in my mouth — may God take my soul! — there’s no trace of deception; just test me!
    My few days are short, my whole life is yours – O, would you’d extend it for me!

But how could I fret when your face’s light is my very sun and my moon?
And from ‘twixt your teeth I almost could draw the sweetest of nectar and balm
If not for the way your two eyes were armed with weapons of anger and wrath
    Why should my longing, O maiden, for you, even unarmed serve to kill me?
    For indeed your cheek, in which lies my rose, only desires to redeem me!

For darkness and light combine in your grace, bringing forth joy and delight
For God on the day he fashioned your form had drawn the East to the West
And yet ’round your splendor a scorpion he placed, now sitting and lying in wait
    And whether you’re stripped, or whether like girls, you’d dress yourself up in embroidery
    Your face is enough — instead of mere jewels, you wear in their place your own beauty.

All beauty’s in you – so what use is there in necklaces and in bright jewels?
For they hold me back from clasping your throat and kissing the curves of your neck!
And so then sang out the myrtle of Sharon, answering me with a song:
    ”O, untie your necklace! What reason is there to add to yourself yet more jewelry?
    It’s you who’s the jewel, in which I have found the whole of all that which concerns me!”1

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
חמה בעד רקיע

 
   חַמָּה, בְּעַד רְקִיעַ צַמָּה אוֹר לֶחֱיֵךְ גְּלִי,
   כִּי בַחֲזוֹת הֲדָרֵךְ תִּפְדִּי עֶבֶד אֲסִיר חֳלִי.
 
אִם הַזְּמָן לְמָנְעֵךְ חָשַׁב וַיִּצְפְּנֵךְ כְּמָן —
הֵא לָךְ בְּתוֹךְ לְבָבִי מוֹשָׁב אֵיתָן וְנֶאֱמָן.
עֵת אֶלְכְּדֵךְ בְּחַבְלֵי מַחְשָׁב מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה זְמָן?
   אִם אֶשְׁכְּחָה דְמוּתֵךְ, חַמָּה, אֶשְׁכַּח מְחוֹלְלִי!
   אַתְּ אַחֲלַי וְאַתְּ מַחְמַדִּי — מַה לַּזְּמָן וְלִי?
 
מַה תִּגְעֲרִי בְּלֵבָב נַעֲנֶה הוּא לָךְ לְמַחֲנֶה?
אֵיךְ אֶחְשְׁבֵךְ כְּמַלְאָךְ חוֹנֶה וַתְּבַעֲרִי סְנֶה?
אִם תַּחְפְּצִי בְמוֹתִי — הִנֵּה קִרְאִי וְאֶעֱנֶה
   כִּי אֵין בְּפִי — פְּדִיתִיךְ! — מִרְמָּה הַקְשִׁי וְשַׁאֲלִי!
   יָמַי מְעַט וְלָךְ כָּל חֶלְדִּי, לוּ הֶאֱרַכְתְּ לִי.
 
אֵיךְ אֶדְאֲגָה — וְאוֹר פָּנַיִךְ שִׁמְשִׁי וְסַהֲרִי?
כִּמְעַט וִאֵרְדְּ בֵּין שִׁנַּיִךְ הַצּוּף וְהַצֳרִי —
לוּלֵי הֱיוֹת כְּלִי עֵינַיִךְ הָאַף וְהֶחֳרִי.
   עַל מָה אֱהִי בְחִשְׁקֵךְ, עַלְמָה, נִרְצָח בְּאֵין כְּלִי?
   הֵן לֶחֱיֵךְ אֲשֶׁר שָׁם נִרְדִּי יַחְפֹּץ לְגָאֳלִי!
 
חשֶׁךְ וְאוֹר בְּיָפְיֵךְ עֹרַב יַהְנֶה וְיֶעֱרַב,
כִּי אֵל בְּיוֹם בְּרָאֵךְ קֵרַב מִזְרָח לְמַעֲרָב
וַיְשַׁו סְבִיב הֲדָרֵךְ עַקְרָב יוֹשֵׁב בְּמַאֲרָב.
   אִם תִּלְבְּשִׁי כְּנָשִׁים רִקְמָה אוֹ אִם תְּנַצְּלִי —
   דַּיֵּךְ בְּתָאֳרֵךְ כִּי תַעְדִּי יֹפִי מְקוֹם חֲלִי.
 
בָּךְ כָּל יְפִי — וְעוֹד מַה יִּתְרוֹן בִּרְבִיד וְסַהֲרֹן?
אַךְ יִמְנְעוּ לְחַבֵּק גָּרוֹן וּנְשֹׁק לְצַוְּרֹן
אָז שׁוֹרְרָה הֲדַסַּת שָׁרוֹן וַתַּעֲנֶה בְּרֹן:
   חלּי עקוד גידך למא אזדת בך אלחלי
   אנת אלחלי והד’ה ענדי גמלת שואע’לי!
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Ḥamáh, be-ʕad rakíaʕ tzamáh ‘or leḥeyéikh gelí,
Ki va-ḥazót hadaréikh tifdí ʕéved ‘asír ḥolí.

‘Im ha-zemán lemanʕéikh ḥasháv va-yitzpenéikh ke-mán —
Hei lakh be-tókh levaví mosháv ‘eitán ve-ne’emán.
ʕeit ‘elkedéikh be-ḥavléi maḥsháv mah yaʕaséh zemán?
‘Im ‘eshkeḥáh demutéikh, ḥamáh, ‘eshkáḥ meḥolelí!
‘At ‘aḥalái ve-‘át maḥmadí — mah la-zemán ve-lí?

Mah tigʕarí be-leiváv naʕanéh hu lakh le-maḥanéh?
‘Eikh ‘eḥshevéikh ke-mal’ákh ḥonéh va-tevaʕarí senéh?
‘Im taḥpetzí ve-motí — hinéh kir’í ve-‘eʕenéh
Ki ‘ein be-fí — peditíkh! — mirmáh, hakshí ve-sha’alí!
Yamái meʕát ve-lákh kol ḥeldí, lu he’erákht li.

‘Eikh ‘ed’agáh — ve-‘ór panáyikh shimshí ve-saharí?
Kimʕét vi-‘érd bein shináyikh ha-tzúf ve-ha-tzorí —
Luléi heyót keléi ʕeináyikh ha-‘áf ve-he-ḥorí.
ʕal mah ‘ehí ve-ḥishkéikh, ʕalmáh, nirtzáḥ be-‘éin kelí?
Hein leḥeyéikh ‘ashér sham nirdí yaḥpótz le-go’alí!

Ḥóshekh ve-‘ór be-yofyéikh ʕoráv yahnéh ve-yeʕeráv,
Ki ‘eil be-yóm bera’éikh keiráv mizráḥ le-maʕaráv
Va-yesháv sevív hadaréikh ʕakráv yoshéiv be-ma’aráv.
‘Im tilbeshí ke-nashím rikmáh ‘o ‘im tenatzlí —
Dayéikh be-to’aréikh ki taʕdí yófi mekóm ḥalí.

Bakh kol yefí — ve-ʕód mah yitrón birvíd ve-saharón?
‘Akh yimneʕú leḥabéik garón u-neshók le-tzavrón
‘Az shoreráh hadasát sharón va-taʕanéh be-rón:
Ḥúlli ʕuqúd jídik, li-máa ‘azádat bíki ‘al-ḥáli?
‘Anti ‘al-ḥáli wa-hádhuhu ʕíndi júmlat shuwághli!

  1. Like a lot of kharajat, this couplet is likely taken from a popular song. The female addressee coquettishly (or mockingly) responds to the male speaker with a bit of Arabic song on the same theme as the poem.