Yerushalayim of Gold

by Naomi Shemer
Translated 1968 by David Stern


    The mountain air is clear and heady
    And pine trees waft their smell
    The evening breeze blows cool and steady
    As in the distance tolls a bell

    And while the trees and boulders slumber
    A captive sleeps, in thrall
    The city that is torn asunder
    Divided by a wall....

                 Yerushalayim of gold
                 And of copper agleam
                 All your songs I remember
                 As of you I dream

    The flow has dried up in her fountain
    Alone she bears here plight
    No one comes to her holy mountain
    The ancient temple site.

    Her rocky caverns darkly shiver
    As cold winds wail and blow
    No one walks down to Jordan river
    On the old road to Jericho....

                  Yerushalayim of gold...

    Now when I come to sing your story
    And to recount your praise
    I cannot but retell your glory
    Back in your greatest days

    For even now your name is burning
    When past days are recalled
    Yerushalayim, for you I'm yearning
    The city that's all gold,,,,

                  Yerushalayim of gold...

    (added after June 1967, when Israel
    retook the old city of Jerusalem)

    Once more we drink from the old fountain
    We have come back for good
    The shofar blows on the same mountain
    Where once our temple stood.

    And in the caverns, long benighted
    A thousand suns do glow
    Come, let us walk once more united
    The old road down, to Jericho....

                  Yerushalayim of gold....


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Author and Curator:   Dr. David P. Stern
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Last updated 15 May 2002