Naomi Shemer

Updated: Apr 25, 2018

Jerusalem of Gold


The mountain air is clear as wine

And the scent of pines Is carried on the breeze of twilight With the sound of bells.

And in the slumber of tree and stone Captured in her dream The city that sits solitary

And in its midst is a wall.

Jerusalem of gold

And of bronze, and of light Behold I am a violin for all your songs.

How the cisterns have dried The market-place is empty And no one frequents the Temple Mount In the Old City.

And in the caves in the mountain Winds are howling And no one descends to the Dead Sea By way of Jericho.

But as I come to sing to you today, And to adorn crowns to you (i.e. to tell your praise)

I am the smallest of the youngest of your children (i.e. the least worthy of doing so) And of the last poet (i.e. of all the poets born).

For your name scorches the lips Like the kiss of a seraph If I forget thee, Jerusalem, Which is all gold...

We have returned to the cisterns To the market and to the market-place A ram's horn calls out on the Temple Mount In the Old City.

And in the caves in the mountain Thousands of suns shine -

We will once again descend to the Dead Sea By way of Jericho!