No. 4 of 6 poems by Shmuel Halkin
scored in Mieczysław Weinberg’s Jüdische Lieder, Op. 17
Translated by the gracious Miriam Rinn


Tiefe griber, roiter leym
kh'hob amol gehat a heym.

Friling flegn seder blieen,
Harbstsayt flegn foyglen tsien,
vinter flegt dort faln shney,
itster blit dort vind un vay.

S'hot meyn heym a brokh getrofn:
tir un toyer zaynen ofn
far di rotskhim, far di shinder,
di, vos koyln kleyne kinder,
di, vos hengen uf di zkeynim,
di, vos shaneven nit keynem.

Yor nokh yor zeinen ariber,
fule zaynen yene griber,
un nokh royter iz di leym,
yene leym iz itst mayn heym:

Kumen veln gute tsaytn
vet dos mazl oykh zikh baytn,
veln veyen vern linder.

Veln vider vaksn kinder
veln kinder shpiln, royshn,
bay di kvorim fun di kdoyshim,
bay di tife, fule griber,
az der vey zol nit a riber!

Deep graves, red clay
Once I had a home.

Springtime Cedars used to blossom,
Autumn birds used to fly away,
Winter snow used to fall there,
Now “Alas and alack” blossoms there.

Disaster struck my home,
Door and gate are open
For the murders, for the skinners,
Those, who slaughter little children,
Those, who hang the elder,
Those, who spare no one.

Year after year have passed,
Those graves are full,
And still redder is the clay,
That clay is now my home:

Good times will return
Our luck will turn,
Our sorrows will become __________

Once more children will grow,
once more children will play, run,
by the waves of the martyrs
by the deep full graves,
the pain will not pass.