Epithalamium

by Eleazar ben Kallir

English version by T. Carmi
Original Language Hebrew

'Bound by affection, may your joy increase,
as you are wed today in love and gladness;
be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God.

'Bridegroom, delight in your glorious marriage chambers;
excel in beauty among your companions;
may your heart rejoice in the wife of your youth.

'Your radiant face, O bride, shall glow like wine;
your enemies shall be as nothing;
My parapet, your love is sweeter than wine.'

Like one drinking wine
or hearing the song of a swallow or a crane,
I shall revel in the Holy One!

'I shall crown My dove with grace and kindness,
as once I did when I revealed Myself in the flame of the consuming fire;
for you have ravished My heart, My sister, My bride.

'Your fountains are a place of running water;
I have shaken all your tormentors from you;
My treasured one, lift up your eyes and look about you.

'I shall shower her who comes up from the wilderness with favours;
I shall envelop My cornerstone with clouds of glory;
I have likened your neck to an ivory tower.'

Like one drinking wine
or hearing the song of swallows or a crane,
I shall revel in the Holy One!

'Arise, My beloved, and be married in love;
give hymns and thanks to your King;
sing and make music in My bridal chamber:
"under the apple tree You have awakened me!"'

-- from The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse, Edited by T. Carmi

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The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse





Epithalamium