Hayyim Nahman Bialik

(9 January 1873 – 4 July 1934 / Radi, Volhynia)

Alone


Wind blew, light drew them all.
New songs revive their mornings.
Only I, small bird, am forsaken
under the Shekhina’s wing.

Alone. I remain alone.
The Shekhina’s broken wing
trembled over my head. My heart knew hers:
her fear for her only son.

Driven from every ridge –
one desolate corner left –
in the House of Study she hides in shadow,
and I alone share her pain.

Imprisoned beneath her wing
my heart longed for the light.
She buried her face on my shoulder
and a tear fell on my page.

Dumbly she clung and wept.
Her broken wing sheltered me:
“scattered to the four winds of heaven;
they are gone, and I am alone”.

It was an ancient lament
a suppliant cry I heard
in that lost and silent weeping,
and in that scalding tear.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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