Psalm of the Distant Dove
Canticle in Homage to Sephardi Culture
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PSALM OF THE DISTANT DOVE
Sung in English
PRELUDE: MY LOVER CALLED
My lover called: rise up my love, rise up my love and come with me.
DAYS OF COLD ARE PAST
Days of cold are past, and spring has buried winter’s rain.
O friends, be true.
There, amid the buds and birds that flock to sing the summer’s praise, drink with me, drink with me wine, red as the blush on lovers’ cheeks, wine, red as the tears for friends that are gone.
THE DOVE KNOWS HER MATE
The dove knows her mate and never changes him for another.
Distant dove wandered to a wood, stumbled there and lay lame, flitted, flailed, and flustered, circling her love’s head.
Her lover hurt her, left her; she might have died.
Why so hostile to her?
PRELUDE: BIRDS STRUGGLE
Birds struggle in the hands of the slaughterer, but the dove puts out its neck to be slaughtered.
AVI, AVI (MY FATHER, MY FATHER)
O God, how long will You leave Your dove, will You leave Your dove in the trap, in the snare—there to remain far from her young, crying, “My father, my father!”
Your dove wandered away from her nest in the frost of the night, in the heat of the day.
Summers and winters have come and gone.