Friday, 8 February 2019

Dawn - Archbishop Khorene Nar Bey de Lusignan

Roses upon roses
Spread in sheets below,
In the high blue ether
Clouds that shine like snow,
Lightly, brightly, softly,
Spread before thy feet,
In this tranquil season
Wait thy face to greet;
Waits in hope all nature,
O Aurora sweet!

Radiant, pure she rises,
In her veil of white,
With her floating tresses
Gleaming golden bright,
Spreading wide in ripples
By the zephyrs swayed,
And her pearly pinions
Opening, half displayed—
Gracious, fair Aurora,
The celestial maid.

On her brow bright jewels
Glow in loveliness,
And her joyous glances
Heaven and earth caress;
While her rose-lips, brighter
Than earth’s blooming bowers,
Smiling blithely, scatter
Perfume sweet in showers,
Making yet more fragrant
Many-coloured flowers.

Now the small birds twitter
’Mid the leaves so green,
Blending with their rustle;
Hail, O Dawn serene!
Hail! Thou changest darkness
Into sunlight free,
The sad earth thou makest
Glad and full of glee.
All created beings
Cry “All hail!” to thee.

Unto thee each offers
Its first gift in love,
Tenderest gift and holiest;
Cloud that floats above,
Zephyr, crystal streamlet,
Flowers and nightingale—
All with love are melted,
Praise thee, bid thee hail,
Heavenly maiden, lovely
In thy shining veil!

Thou our hearts that charmest
Now with such delight,
Leave us not forsaken
In the grave’s dark night!
When our eyes are closing,
Let it beam and shine
Still before our souls’ eyes,
That sweet light of thine,
Full of hope and promise,
Dawn, thou maid divine!

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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