Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
News

DER YIDDISH-VINKL July 4, 2003

On the occasion of the 65th yahrzeit of Baruch Charney Vladeck, the Forverts dedicated its page on “Pearls of Yiddish Poetry” to a sampling of his works. This may come as a surprise to some of our readers who recall Vladeck as the longtime manager of the Forverts, chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee, president of the American ORT, elected member of New York City’s Board of Aldermen and an inspired and inspiring orator in both English and Yiddish. A poet, too? Yes, as this brief sample proves.

The transliteration is by Goldie Gold; the English version is by Gus Tyler.

Ikh veys, mayn fraynd, es iz di sho nokh nit gekumen,

Un s’shpilt zikh nokh in veg der tsukunftiker held;

Un s’foyln nokh in dr’erd di kerner fun di blumen,

Vos veln zikh funanderblien in tsukunfts zunik feld;

Un dokh kh’ bin lang shoyn vakh un shtim on hoykh mayn lire

Un shmir mit fetn eyl mayn alt-farrostn shverd.

Vayl kh’veys az s’kreyet der hon shoyn bald zayn morgn-shire

A rozer onzog-nepl shpreyt zikh in der erd.

Ikh vil in nakht nit vartn oyf meshiakhs horn,

Ikh vil nit zayn dervakht fun tsayts farzhavert rut —

Ikh bin far hoykhe lider un far kamf geborn,

Un s’blezlt tomid heys mayn laydnshaftlikh blut.

Aay, shpint zikh, vebt zikh troymen, s’geyt a nayer morgn,

Ikh ze vi oyfn keyver fun di groe zorgn

Firt on di morgnzun a freylekh karahod.

Di shtime vos hot geredt tsu Moyshen un Sokratn

In vistenish baym barg un oyf di mark fun Aten,

Di shtime redt oykh tsu mir,

Un kh’ze di gantse velt un yede zakh bazunder

Un veys az alts iz klor oyb alts iz oykh a vunder,

Un — ofn yede tir.

Un tifer iz mayn vey, vayl vayter iz mayn rie,

Un s’ lokt mikh nit kayn kron, un s’shrekt mikh nit keyn tlie,

Vayl der vos hot geredt tsu Moyshen un Sokratn

Fun midber-himl hoykh un durkh gedikhte gratn

Di shtime ret oykh tsu mir.

I know, my friend, the blessed hour still is not present

The future hero still is on his way.

We know that in the earth are seeds of flowers pleasant

And they will bloom we know some sunny day.

But I am long awake and sing my songs poetic.

And with gentle oil I smear my rusty sword.

Yes, I do hear the rooster crow its song prophetic

As cross the earth the light of sun is poured.

I will not wait all night to hear Messiah’s horn

Or be awakened by some screechy voice in pain.

To sing my lofty songs and to battle I was born.

These are the things that occupy my heart and brain.

My dreams I spin and with them weave a new tomorrow

I see the day that on the grave of human sorrow

We will dance a dance that from the Gods we’ll borrow.

The voice that once did speak with Socrates and Moses

In ancient Athens or in Sinai’s lofty spires

That voice to me its sacred words discloses

The sacred words that all the world inspires.

I see the world at large and everything asunder

It’s all so very, very clear and yet a wonder.

Yes, deeper is my pain for greater is my vision.

No crown upon my head, and, too, no fear of prison.

Because the voice that Socrates and Moses heard

Came and shared with me its wise and worldly word.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.