Wednesday, July 4, 2018

On the path to the ponds - בשביל אל הבריכות

Warm winds blew between the pine trees
רוחות חמות נשבו בינות עצי האורן
And the sprinkler rustled from the fields
ורחש ממטרות עלה מן השדות
A white carnation whitened in her hair
בתוך שער ראשה הלבינה הציפורן
And her small palm whitened in his hand.
וכף ידה קטנה הלבינה בידו.

They walked the path to the ponds hand in hand
בשביל אל הבריכות פסעו שלובי ידים
And stars dropped to the water with the dew
וכוכבים נשרו למים עם הטל
A lone wolf laughed far away in the night
ותן בודד צחק הרחק בתוך הליל
And she said: You’re so handsome, soldier.
והיא אמרה: אתה כל כך יפה, חייל.

And she told him: Tomorrow you’ll set on your way
והיא אמרה לו: הן מחר תצא לדרך
I packed your bag for you to take on your way
את תרמילך ארזתי שאותו תיקח
I didn’t leave any note, not a flower as a reminder
לא שמתי בו מכתב, לא פרח למזכרת
For if you remember – remember, and if you forget – forget.
הן אם תזכור תזכור, ואם תשכח תשכח.

As they returned from the path to the ponds in dawn
ועת חזרו בשביל מן הבריכות עם שחר
The tears of dew hung from the reeds
דמעות הטל נתלו גדולות על קני הסוף
And he held her hand firmly
והוא את כף ידה אחז ביד בוטחת
And she looked at him through a clear filter.
והיא הביטה בו מתוך מסך שקוף.

And he told her: My girl, I’ll yet return
והוא אמר לה: ילדתי אני אחזור עוד
Even if I go far, my heart stays with you
גם אם רחוק אלך, ליבי נשאר איתך
And she slowly returned the carnation
והיא החזירה לו בלאט את הציפורן
For if I remember – remember, and if I forget – forget.
הן אם יזכור יזכור, ואם ישכח ישכח.

And he went to the battle and the sun shined
והוא הלך לקרב עת החמה הנצה
And he didn’t return for oh so many days.
ולא חזר משם ימים רבים כל כך.
And she knows that he won’t return forever
והיא יודעת שהוא לא יחזור לנצח
Yet she is still praying that he only forgot.
והיא עוד מתפללת שהוא רק שכח.

This is a very sad song about a girl who lost her lover in the war. The song builds up their relationship, using very romantic and poetic words that were hard to accurately translate to English. Some things to note: "And she looked at him through a clear filter," is a poetic way of saying that she's crying.

At first, it was just a little playful sign of love: The girl told the boy that she didn't pack anything to remember her by in his bag, so that if he comes back, it would be because he remembered her by himself, and not with any help (it's clear that he would remember her, they stayed at these romantic ponds until dawn after all...). And he also assures her that he'll remember her anywhere he goes, that his heart is with her, and in this whimsical mood she decides she should be fair and also hand him back the flower he gave her so that she doesn't 'cheat' and will need to remember him without any help. It's clear that they are just playfully showing affection.

When the boy didn't return, however, it was clear to the girl that it wasn't because he just forgot about her. It was clear to the girl exactly what happened, for she knew that he would never return. However, this girl prays that he had just forgotten, maybe if she had packed some souvenir in his bag, he would've remembered...

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