After My Death

12-13 Bialik
Hayim Nahman Bialik
Russian
1873 – 1934

 

After my death mourn me this way:
‘There was a man-and see: he is no more;
before his time this man died
and his life’s song in mid-bar stopped;
and oh, it is sad! One more song he had
and now the song is gone for good,
gone for good!

And it is very sad!-a harp too he had
a living being and murmurous
and the poet in his words in it
all of his heart’s secret revealed,
and all the strings his hand gave breath
but one secret his heart kept hid,
round and round his fingers played,
and one string stayed mute,
mute to this day!

And it is sad, very sad!
All of her days this string moved,
mute she moved, mute she shook,
for her song, her beloved redeemer
she yearned, thirsted, grieved and longed
as a heart pines for its intended:
and though he hesitated each day she waited
and in a secret moan begged for him to come,
and he hesitated and never came,
never came!

And great, great is the pain!
There was a man-and see: he is no more,
and his life’s song in mid-bar stopped,
one more song he had to go,
and now the song is gone for good,
gone for good!

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