In honor of the birthday of Yitzkhak Leybush Peretz (1852 – 1915), here’s “Hof un gloyb” (Hope and Believe), one of his most famous poems. Below you’ll find the lyrics and sheet music of Eliezer Hirshin’s choral arrangement, as they were printed in the 25 April 1924 edition of the Warsaw magazine “Ilustrirte vokh.”

Hope! The spring won’t lag much longer;
Butterflies will come in throngs!
There’ll be new nests on the branches,
And new birds will song new songs.
Trust that night will soon be over
And the clouds will vanish too;
Blue once more will be the heavens;
Stars and suns – all fresh, all new!
Spring’s sweet breath will rouse new roses;
Flowers will shoot up bright and brave;
There’ll be shining, singing, fragrance
Everywhere! And – on our grave.
Hope! The spring won’t lag much longer;
Butterflies will come in throngs!
There’ll be new nests on the branches,
And new birds will song new songs.

translated by Aaron Kramer

Hof! Nisht vayt iz shoyn der friling.
Es veln shmeterlingen shpringen.
Naye nestn, naye foygl
Veln naye lider zingen!
Gloyb: Di nakht iz shoyn farshvundn,
In di volkns oykh tserunen.
Bloy vet zayn der himl,
Naye shtern, naye zunen.
Naye royzn, naye blumen
Veln blien, vaksn hoykh.
Es vet shaynen, shmekn, zingen,
Un in unzer vinkl oykh!
Hof! Nisht vayt iz shoyn der friling.
Es veln shmeterlingen shpringen.
Naye nestn, naye foygl
Veln naye lider zingen!

 

Follow along to the Yiddish and/or English lyrics above as you listen to a classic choral arrangement of Peretz’s “Hof un gloyb,” performed in the 1960s by the Vilna Choir. The choir was founded by Vilner émigrés in Tel Aviv in 1964 with the aim of preserving the cultural legacy of their beloved city.

And for those who understand Yiddish, enjoy this video of Khane Fishman-Gonshor reading and discussing “Hof un gloyb.”