?אַיֵּךְ | Ayekh (Where are you?), by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik (1904)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

אַיֵּךְ?

Where are you?


מִמְּקוֹם שֶׁאַתְּ נִסְתֶּרֶת שָׁם, יְחִידַת חַיַּי
וּשְׁכִינַת מַאֲוַיַּי –
הִגָּלִי־נָא וּמַהֲרִי בֹאִי, בֹּאִי
אֱלֵי מַחֲבוֹאִי;
וּבְעוֹד יֵשׁ גְּאֻלָּה לִי – צְאִי וּגְאָלִי
Come, beloved, from your hiding place. Come,
my only one. Show yourself. Hurry
to my refuge, a royal presence.
While yet I may be saved, come, rescue me.

וּמָלְכִי עַל־גּוֹרָלִי;
וְיוֹם אֶחָד גְּזֵלַת נְעוּרַי לִי הָשִׁיבִי
וַהֲמִיתִינִי עִם־אֲבִיבִי.
וְתַחַת שִׂפְתוֹתַיִךְ יִכְבֶּה־נָא נִיצוֹצִי
וּבֵין שָׁדַיִךְ יוֹמִי אוֹצִיא,
כִּגְוַע בַּעֲרֹב הַיּוֹם בֵּין פִּרְחֵי בְשָׂמִים
צִפֹּרֶת כְּרָמִים.
Queen of my fate
give me back one day
my stolen spring, kill me
with my youth. Beneath
your lips let my flame
be quenched; let me consume
my life between your
breasts as a vineyard butterfly
lapses at evening
into fragrant flowers.

אַיֵּךְ?
Where are you?

וַאֲנִי עוֹד לֹא יָדַעְתִּי מִי וָמָה אַתְּ –
וּשְׁמֵךְ עַל־שְׂפָתַי רָעַד,
וּכְרִצְפַּת אֵשׁ בַּלֵּילוֹת עַל־מִשְׁכָּבִי
בָּעַרְתְּ בִּלְבָבִי;
וָאֵבְךְּ בִּנְדוּדֵי לֵיל, וָאֶשֹּׁךְ כָּרִי
וּלְזִכְרֵךְ כָּלָה בְשָׂרִי;
וְכׇל־הַיּוֹם בֵּין אוֹתִיּוֹת הַגְּמָרָא,
בְּקֶרֶן אוֹר, בִּדְמוּת עָב בָּרָה,
בַּזַּכָּה מִתְּפִלּוֹתַי וּבִטְהָר־הִרְהוּרַי,
בִּנְעִים הֶגְיוֹנַי וּבִגְדָל־יִסּוּרַי –
לֹא־בִקְשָׁה נַפְשִׁי כִּי אִם־הִגָּלוֹתֵךְ,
רַק־אוֹתָךְ, אוֹתָךְ, אוֹתָךְ…
When I did not know as yet
who you were and what you were
your name trembled on my lips.
Like Isaiah’s coal you burnt my heart.
Sleepless at night upon my couch
I wept and bit my pillow, my flesh
devoured by the memory of you.
All day long among the holy letters,
in a ray of light,
a white cloud,
in my purest prayers,
my clearest reflections,
my most pleasant thoughts,
and in my greatest
sufferings, I sought nothing but
a vision of your
self, you, you. You.

Composed by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik in the month of Sivan 5664 (May 1904), in Mrozy, Poland. Translated by Ruth Nevo for Chaim Nachman Bialik: Selected Poems (Dvir and the Jerusalem Post 1981). Hebrew transcribed by the Ben-Yehuda Project.

Source

241

241

Comments, Corrections, and Queries


בסיעתא דארעא