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DER YIDDISH-VINKL March 10, 2006

Joan Braman continues to enrich the columns of Der Yiddish Vinkl with her Yiddish translations of English classics. This time her subject is…

Dover Beach

By Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight

The tide is full, the moon lies fair

Upon the straits; on the French coast the light

Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,

Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.

Come to the window, sweet is the night air!

Only, from the long line of spray

Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,

Listen! You hear the grating roar

Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,

At their return, up the high strand,

Begin, and cease, and then again begin,

* * *|

* * *|

With tremulous cadence slow, and bring

The eternal note of sadness in.

Ah, love, let us be true

To one another! For the world, which seems

To lie before us like a land of dreams,

So various, so beautiful, so new,

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;

And we are here as on a darkling plain

Swept with confusing alarms of struggle and flight;

Where ignorant armies clash by night.


Der yam iz sheyn bay nakht

Di levone shaynt, shtark iz der fleyts

Oyfn frantsoyishn breg likht finklen un me’vakht;

Di scales fun Dover shteyen glantsndik un vays.

Un kukn arop oyf der bukhte, oyf a ruikn oyfn

Kum tsum fenster, vi frish di luft, du zest

Nor fun di khvalyes, es shpritst der shoym.

Vu yam un land trefn zikh tsunoyf;

Her zikh tsu tsu dem rash

Fun di khvalyes vos royshn ahin un tsurik

Un varfn di shteyndlekh aroyf oyf der plazhe;

Kumen un geyen vider un iber a mol

Runtslen in zeyer bazakhtn ritem

Un mit an eybikn troyerikn kol.

O lomir tsvey zayn getray

Vayl di velt zet oys vi zi bashteyt

Fun undzere khaloymes, ligt oysgeshpreyt,

Azoy farsheydn, sheyn, un nay,

Hot ober nit kayn freyd. Kayn libe, kayn likht,

Kayn emes, kayn sholem. Kayn hilf far payn;

Un do zaynen mir, vi oyf a pleyn

Vu s’kumt a khoyshekh un alts vert hefkerdik,

Un armeyen krign zikh umvisndik.

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