Monday, 4 July 2016

Night Has Fallen - Raage Ugaas

Night had fallen and behind closed doors everyone was sleeping
Thunder called out with a clamour of rain like shots from a thousand rifles
So was my wailing heard that they thought it a lion approaching
For men the spine and ribsides are the body's central support
I am shut away now from the eyes through which I used to see
Only God knows the source of my lamentations
The vulture with an injury to his shoulder cannot fly
The horse who has lost his spine cannot gallop
The man injured in eye and ribs cannot seek revenge
A man whose heart aches cannot take a bride home
When the camels are thirsty their outcries increase
Like a small girl whose mother now lives in the hereafter
Whose father has brought another woman to sleep in the aqal*
I grieve constantly from the sorrow deep in my belly
I'm the man whose fiancée has been given to another
I'm the man who sees springs but whose thirst remains unquenched
I'm the man whose brother is clan leader and yet is accused
I am that silent man who sits, slowly patting his mouth again and again

Raage Ugaas (19th century) Somalia
Translated by Dr. Martin Orwin
* An aqal is a nomadic hut used by the Somalis

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