Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The exile to the swallow - Archbishop Khorene Nar Bey de Lusignan

O swallow, swallow, was it thine,
This nest, all cold and drear,
That empty in this niche I found
When first I entered here?
At sight of it mine eyes o’erflowed
With bitter teardrops, born
Of the sad thought that my nest too
Lies empty and forlorn.

O swallow, hasten to thy nest,
And have no fear of me!
In me a comrade thou shalt find;
A wanderer I, like thee.
I know the longing of thy heart,
The yearning for thy home;
I know the bitter pains of those
As exiles forced to roam.

Happy art thou, O bird, to find
Thy little nest at last!
The time of thy brief pilgrimage
Is over now and past.
Forget thy woes, chirp merrily!
Let grief be left to me,
Who know not of my wanderings
When there an end shall be.

Swallow, thou hadst the hope of spring,
To reach thy home nest here;
My winter ends not; spring I lost,
Losing my country dear.
Oh, dark to me this foreign light!
The air is dull and dead,
Bitter the water that I drink,
And like a stone my bread!

Swallow, when thou shalt seek again
This nest, to thee so dear,
Wilt thou still hear my trembling voice
Bidding thee welcome here?
If thou shalt find my humble cot
Empty and silent stand,
Bear to my grave a drop of dew
Brought from my fatherland!

Archbishop Khorene Nar Bey de Lusignan (1838 - 1892) Armenia
Translated by Alice Stone Blackwell
Source: Armenian Poems, Rendered into English verse by Alice Stone Blackwell, Boston: Robert Chambers, 1917

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