My Words Are Driven

My words are driven by worry,
my joy in sighing’s put out –
when I see others laughing my heart splits
for my life as it slips away from me.

“Should a boy of sixteen be sighing, my friend,
and mourning the day of his death,
when he could be strong in his youth,
with his cheek like a rose in the sun?”

From boyhood my heart has judged me
and so my soul has been bowed,
and it placed understanding and learning across it
and cut my soul along wrath.

“What good does anxiousness do you?
Be patient, your wound will heal.
You moan inside your trouble in vain:
What help could you bring with your tears?”

But why should I wait, and how long can I hope
when the day is full, and the end is far,
and no one in Gilead knows of balm
for the pain of a plague-stricken man.

by Shlomo ibn Gabirol

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