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VAROUJAN, Daniel


The Sowing

It's the sower. He is standing tall and stout

In the sunset's rays which are like flowing gold;

Before his feet are the fields of the fatherland

Spreading their unlimited nakedness.


His deep apron, full of wheat seeds like stars

Is wholly full. The thirsty ploughs of last year

Now are waiting for his wide fist, and that fist

Is opening upon the fields like a dawn.


Sower, sow in the name of your home's table,

Let the movement of your arms be unbounded;

Tomorrow those wheat seeds you've thrown, like blessings,

Will be pouring on heads of your grandchildren.


Sower, sow in the name of the hungry poor

Never let your palm be half-full from your apron;

A poor today in the temple's lantern put

The last oil for your harvest of tomorrow.


Sower, sow in the name of Lord's sacrament,

Let luminous seeds overflow your fingers;

Tomorrow in each and every milky plant

A portion of Jesus's body will ripen.


Sow and sow yet even beyond the border,

Sow like the stars and also sow like the waves.

Don't worry if birds plunder all your seeds,

Tomorrow God will in their place sow you pearls.


Fill the furrows, let fertile ploughs overflow,

Let golden lights flow out of soil's bosom.

As the day turns to evening your arm's shadow

Stretches long to the starry horizons.



Alms

To the starving people

“There is famine; bread, bread !”

Who is sighing?

On the threshold of my cottage, who is sighing?

My love has gone out, with the flame in my fireplace.

Ashes within me, ashes around me; oh, of what use is it

To sow tears on ashes?

I have nothing, nothing! To-day, with my last

Small coin I bought poison;

I shall mix poison within me.

Come to-morrow to the graveyard, thou Hungry One,

Through the storm, early, when around the village

Wolves are still wandering.

Come to-morrow! As bread, from my grave

I will throw into that bag of thine

My poet’s heart.

My poet’s heart shall be thy blood, the blood of thy orphans,

As long as thy grief lives.

Come to-morrow to the graveyard, O thou Hungry One!


Here the book

Here the book which I promised…

There if you find the dream bottomless of the secular life,

and the priestesses of Bacchus to the figure of pink dancing

on the hills under the moon,

And of the Gods who want the heart of Homère still bleeding

like Messaline with the eyes of fire, instead of a shroud

a tunic of crimson throws on the bodies of the dead knights of love.

There if you find nights of Pompeï,

the grenade of the eruptions matured over the Peak

and this century wounded like Jesus,

taken childbirth of a dawn news

If you find hearts extinguished like lamps,

the combat of iron and the man, and,

revealed, the contemptible crime born from the very envieux mud

of the blood of the pure pinks, Knows well, my friend,

that my song told the pains of the pleasure

and the pleasures of the pain the chalice of the heart

when it fills up wine sees this one moulting in blood of God.

Think that no one, never,

could not hold of the fist this support of my Pégase

whose glance carries a double sun, -

and that the funeral cawing of the corbels

could not slice its unbounded dash.

Think that always the critic is one-eyed

and that the wise moralist is oenuque. the heavy heart of a life,

with the exact balance which will be able to weigh it

vis-a-vis with all the Universe?

Only will be able to enjoy divine food of the Dream,

that which will be enivra of incense, of stinks.

That one only is man that all kneads grace and of abjection,

that one only, crowned tears.


The Working Girl

BENEATH my window, as each morning dawns,

You like a wandering ghost go flitting by,

And on your beauteous virgin head there fall

Tears from my rose vine, leafless now and dry.


I hear your footsteps in the silent street,

And the awakened dog that barks at you;

Or in my sleep I hear the constant cough

That racks your lovely bosom through and through.


I think that you are hungry, robbed of sleep,

Your body shivering in the breezes cold,

And on your tresses, O my sister! Lies

The frost, like jewels, glittering to behold.


Or else, I think, your shoes are torn and rent;

The water from the street is oozing through;

Or impudently, as you pass along,

Some scoundrel Turk is whistling after you.


I think that ill at home your mother lies,

And that the oil which fed the lamp is dry,

And to the factory you go, to toil

For light and life. I think of it, and sigh!


I think of it, and madly then I wish

I might come down, my pallid sister dear,

Come down to you, to kiss your thin, frail hand,

And whisper low, “I love you!” in your ear.


I love your sorrow, which is mine as well—

My grief of griefs, all other woes above;

I love your shattered breast, where still your love

Sings on and on—a skylark wild with love.


Pale girl, I long to press you to my heart

Like some poor banished dove, forlorn and lone—

Give you my strength, my prizes won from fame,

And my untarnished name to be your own.


Fain would I be your honor’s veil and screen,

My breast a shield for your defenceless breast.

If I could guard, with arms as granite strong,

Your sex and your grave beauty, I were blest!


Fain would I give you all that I have won

In life’s hard struggle, all I have of good—

Crown you with roses of my victory,

Roses that wear the color of my blood;


Only that never more, my sister dear,

You should be pale and hungry, coughing sore,

And that your mother’s lamp should not go out,

And to the factory you should go no more!


The Aged Crane

On the bank of the river, in the row of cranes,

That one drooped its head,

Put its beak under its wing, and with itsaged

Dim pupils, awaited

Its last black moment.

When its comrades wished to depart,

It could not join them in their flight.

Scarcely could it open its eyes and watch in the air

The path of the little flock that went along

Calling down to those under the roofs

The tidings, the greetings and the tears

Entrusted to them by the exile.

Ah, the poor bird! In the bleak embrace

Of that cold autumnal silence, it is dying.

It is vain to dream any more

Of a distant spring, of cool currents of air

Under strong and soaring wings,

Or of passing through cool brooks

With naked feet, of dipping its long neck

Amongst the green reeds;

It is vain to dream any more!

The wings of the Armenian crane

Are tired of traveling. It was true

To its heart-depressing calling;

It has transported so many tears!

How many young wives have put among its soft feathers

Their hearts, ardently beating!

How many separated mothers and sons

Have loaded its wings with kisses!

Now, with a tremor on its dying day,

It shakes from its shoulders

The vast sorrow of an exiled race.

The vows committed to it, the hidden sighs

Of a betrothed bride who saw at length

Her last rose wither unkissed;

A mother’s sad blessing;

Loves, desires, longings,

It shakes at last from its shoulders.

And on the misty river-bank

Its weary wings, spread for the last time,

Point straight toward

The Armenian hills, the half-ruined villages.

With the voice of its dying day

It curses immigration,

And falls, in silence, upon the coarse sand of the river bank.

It chooses its grave,

And, thrusting its purple beak

Under a rock, the dwelling-place of a lizard,

Stretching out its curving neck .

Among the songs of the waves,

With a noble tremor it expires!

A serpent there, which had watched that death-agony

Silently for a long time with staring pupils,

Crawls up from the river-bank,

And, to revenge a grudge of olden days,

With an evil and swift spring

Coils around its dead neck.