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PRAYER

The swans, in discouragement, have migrated from the poisonous lakes this evening; and sad sisters dream of brothers under the prison walls. Battles have ended on the blossoming fields of lilies, and fair women follow coffins from underground passages, and sing, with heads bowed down towards the ground.

Oh, make haste! Our aching bodies are freezing in these pitiless glooms. Make haste towards the chapel, where life will be more merciful; the chapel in the graveyard where our brother sleeps!

An orphan swan is suffering in my soul; and there, over newly-buried corpses, it rains blood-it pours from mine eyes. .

A crowd of cripples pass along the paths of my heart; and with them pass bare-footed blind men, in the divine hope of meeting someone in prayer.

And the red dogs of the desert howled all one night, after moaning hopelessly over the sands, for some unknown, incomprehensible grief.

And the storm of my thoughts ceased with the rain; the waves were cruelly imprisoned beneath the frozen waters; the leaves of huge oak-trees, like wounded birds, dropped with cries of anguish; and the dark night was deserted, like the vast infinite.

And, with the lonely and bloody moon, like a myriad motionless marble statues, all the corpses arose out of the earth to pray for one another.

THE YOUNG WIFE'S DREAM

Year after year, sitting alone at my window, I gaze upon thy path, my pilgrim heart-mate; and by this writing I wish once more to sing the tremors of my body and of my thoughts left without a guardian.

Ah! dost thou not recall the sun on the day of thy departure? My tears were so plentiful and my kisses so ardent! Thy promises were so good and thy return was to be so early! Dost thou not recall the sun and my prayers on the day of thy departure, when I sprinkled water on the shadow of thy steed from my water jar, that the seas might open before thee, and the earth might blossom under thy feet?

Ah, the sun of the day of thy departure has changed to black night; and the tears of waiting, beneath the shower of so many

years, have poured from mine eyes like stars upon my cheeks, and behold, their roses have withered!

It is enough. With longing for thee I feel like plucking at my hair. I am still under the influence of the wine of thy cup, and a mourner for thine absent superb stature. Remembering thee, I moan like the winds, and wounding my knees with kneeling at the church door, I implore for thee, turning toward the west.

May the seas some day dry up from shore to shore, and may the two worlds approach each other in an instant! Then I should have no need of heaven or the sun.

Return! I am waiting for thy return on the threshold of our cottage. My hands empty of thy hands, I dream of thee in my black robes. Return, like the sweet fruits of our garden! My heart's love keeps my kiss for thee.

Oh, my milk-white hips have not yet known motherhood; and I have not yet been able to adorn a swaddling cloth with my bridal veil, wrought with golden thread; and I have not yet been able to sing, sitting by a cradle, the pure, heavenly lullaby of Armenian mothers.

Return! My longing has no end, when the black night comes thus to unfold its shrouds, when the owls in the court shriek with one another, when my sobs end and my tears become bloody. Lonely, in my dreams of a despairing bride, with my hands, like a demon, I begin to sift upon my head the earth of my grave, which is drawing near!

THE SONG OF THE KNIGHT

The sun is up, the hour has come for starting, O my steed!
A moment wait till I pass my foot through thy stirrup glittering

clear.
I read my Goal in thy shining eyes, that know and understand.
Oh, joy of joys! Oh, blest be thou, my steed, my steed so dear!
My body still is firm and light with the joy and spring of youth,
And on thy saddle I shall perch like an eagle, proud and free.
The golden oats that I fed thee with in plenty, O my steed!
Have made mad life through thy form flame up; how fleet thy

course will be! Galloping thou wilt fly along, fly ever upon thy way, And sparks from the strokes of thy brazen shoes will blossom as

we go past.

Let us grow drunk with our rapid course like heroes, O my steed! And, infinitely wingèd like the wind, drink in the blast!

The boundless space before thy pace recedes and disappears,
The sinful cities with all their crimes bow down beneath thy tread.
Black flocks of crows that tremble thy swiftness to behold,
Are seeking shelter in the clouds, the thick clouds overhead.

The sad earth seems below us and we up among the stars.
Thou no abyss nor downward slope dost heed, with eyes aflame;
There is no obstacle, no rock that can thy flight impede;
Impatient, fain wouldst thou attain the summit of the Aim.

My fleet, fleet steed! My idol of snow-white marble fair!
With all my soul I worship thee! As on our course we fly,
My dreamy brow is burning with the flames of mine Ideal;
Oh, spur me onward to my Aim! Slave of thy footsteps I!

I am the slave of thy fleet steps, child of the hurricane!
Speed on, athirst for vengeance, O swift, swift steed of mine!
A needless halt I spurn and hate with all my anger's might.
Ours are the summits, and the wreath of victory is thine!

Thy delicate cream-white body boils with thine ardent fire of life; Thy tail is a cataract; rushing down, like a hurricane it blows. Within thine eyes, so bright and keen, there shine two flaming

stars; The ring of thy swift shoes forges fear, as onward our journey

goes.

I told thee that I am thy slave, for liberty athirst.
Oh, bear me swiftly toward the South, away from this frontier!
We shall be clothed with suns and blood, beyond the stately

heights
Of Ararat and Aragotz. Speed on, my courser dear!

I hold no whip within my hand, my courser, thou art free;
Upon thy back, that glistens like a lily white and fair,
I only shed sweet touches of my fingers as we go;
They touch thy bright flesh like a stream of honey dropping

there.

Thou hast no bridle upon thy neck, no bit within thy mouth; Enough for me one wave of hair from thy full mane backward

flung. I have no need of stirrup-irons for my feet to grip thy sides; A silver saddle thou hast alone, a saddle with pearls bestrung. For my native valleys I yearn, I yearn,—the valleys that hold

my home; But halt thou never, my courser swift, the star-strewn heavens

below! Away by the mouths of caverns deep like a shadow thou must

pass, From forests, vineyards and gardens green still farther and farther

go.

Who knows, perchance a maiden fair by the side of a running

brook Might hand me a cluster of golden grapes, and proffer a draught

of wine My soul might understand her, and she like a sister smile on me But I do not wish to be lost in dreams; halt not, swift steed of

mine!

Thou wilt pass by the shadowy bowers of my birthplace, Eden

fair; The nightingale, the nightingale, fain would I drink her song! The rose-scent, on my pilgrimage, I have dreamed of, many a year. Oh, how my heart is yearning! But halt not, speed along.

And in my pathway haply old corpses might arise,
Their shrouds upon their shoulders, their hands held out to me,
Approach me-me the wretched!—and breathe upward to mine ear
Their loves and vengeance ne'er to be forgot—but onward flee!

I shudder at the ruins and at barren, helpless pangs.
My courser, near the ashes of the cities make no stay!
Oh, tears, the tears of others, they choke me without ruth;
The woe, the griefs of others drive me mad, upon my way!

Oh, do not halt, my courser, where these corpses scattered lie!
Fly far away from graveyards where white shades of dead men be.
I cannot bear, I tell thee, I cannot bear again
The death of my dear native land with anguished eyes to see!

Behold the landscape of the place in which I had my birth!
At sight of it my longing glance with tears grows moist and glows.
But yet I would not shed them; nay, do not pause or stay,
My steed, my steed of swiftest flight! My Aim no weakness

knows.

Lo!’tis Euphrates sounding. Why river, dost thou roar?
Thy son is passing. Why so dark the flood thy shore that laves?
I am thy son. Oh, do not rage! Hast thou forgotten me?
I with thy current would speed on, and would outstrip thy waves.

The memory of my childhood draws from me tears of blood;
A dreamy youth who used to stray along these banks of thine,
All full of hope, with sunlight mad, and happy with his dreams-
But ah! what am I saying? Pause not, swift steed of mine!

Behold the glorious autumn, which vaguely dies around!
Upon my brow a yellow leaf has fallen like a dream.
Is it my death it stands for, or the crowning of my faith?
What matter? On, my neighing steed, sweep onward with the

stream!

Perchance it was the last sere leaf of my ill-omened fate
That fell upon us even now.

What matter? Speed away!
From the four corners of the land are echoing the words,
“Ideal, O free-born Ideal, halt not, halt not nor stay!”

I worship thee! Now like a star thou shootest on thy course;
Thou art as fleet, thou art as free, as is the lightning's flame;
And through the wind and with the wind like eagles now we soar.
I am thy knight, I am thy slave; oh, lift me to my Aim!

Down from the summits of the rocks, the dread and cloudy peaks,
The cataracts, the cataracts are falling in their might.
Their currents white are pure, my steed, as thine own snow-white

form, And their imperious downward sweep is savage as thy flight.

But why now doth a shudder through all thy body run?
Oh, what has chanced, my hero? Why do thy looks grow dark?
Oh, turn thine eyes away from me, thine eyes with trouble filled;
Past the horizons fly along, fly like a wind-borne bark!

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