Sunday, 23 February 2014

He Said, Don't Sleep - Rabbi Adonim Halevi

He said, "Don't sleep. Drink old wine
with myrrh and lilies, henna and aloes,
in an orchard of pomegranates, palm, and vines
full of pleasant plants and tamarisks, to the hum of fountains
and the throb of lutes,
to the sound of singers, flutes, and lyres.
There every tree is tall, branches are fair with fruit,
and winged birds of every kind sing among the leaves.
Doves moan melodiously,
and the others reply cooing like reed pipes.
We will drink among flower beds fenced in by lilies
putting sorrow to flight with songs of praise.
We will eat sweets and drink by the bowlful;
We will act like giants and drink out of huge goblets.
In the mornings I will arise to slaughter bulls
healthy and choice, with rams and calves.
We will anoint ourselves with fragrant oil and burn aloe incense.
Before the day of doom overtakes us, let's fill ourselves.

I reproached him: Silence, silence! This: how dare you
when the Holy House, the footstool of God, falls to Uncircumcised!
Foolishly you've spoken, sloth you've chosen;
Nonsense you've uttered, like mockers and fools.
You have abandoned the study of the Supreme God's Torah
and you rejoice with jackals running wild in Zion.
How could we drink wine and how raise our eyes
when we are nothing, abhorred, and loathed?

Rabbi Adonim Halevi (920 - 990) (Spain)
real name: Dunash ben Labrat

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