Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Silver Platter

Nathan Alterman in 1952

Lyrics: Nathan Alterman
Translation: David P. Stern
…And the land will grow still
Crimson skies dimming, misting
Slowly paling again
Over smoking frontiers
As the nation stands up
Torn at heart but existing
To receive its first wonder
In two thousand years
As the moment draws near
It will rise, darkness facing Stand straight in the moonlight In terror and joy
...When across from it step out
Towards it slowly pacing In plain sight of all A young girl and a boy
Dressed in battle gear, dirty
Shoes heavy with grime
On the path they will climb up
While their lips remain sealed
To change garb, to wipe brow
They have not yet found time Still bone weary from days And from nights in the field
Full of endless fatigue
And all drained of emotion
Yet the dew of their youth
Is still seen on their head
Thus like statues they stand
Stiff and still with no motion And no sign that will show If they live or are dead
Then a nation in tears
And amazed at this matter Will ask: who are you? And the two will then say
With soft voice: We--
Are the silver platter On which the Jews' state Was presented today
Then they fall back in darkness
As the dazed nation looks And the rest can be found In the history books.

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