O moon, fair lamp divinely lit!
God set you in the sky
To lead night's hosts, for darkness blind
And for my heart an eye.
When o'er my head you swing, your lamp
A glittering chain doth hold;
Your string of heavenly silver is,
Your wick of burning gold;
And, as a diamond flashes light,
You shed your rays abroad.
How bright you were, that second night,
Fresh from the hand of God!
How bright you were when first was heard
The heavenly nightingale!
The wind, that seemed like you alive,
Played soft from vale to vale;
With that calm breeze, the limpid brook
Plashed in an undertone;
There was no human ear to hear,
The angels heard alone.
The angels swung you in their hands,
And silently and slow
You traversed heaven's cloudless arch,
And sank the waves below,
What time the sun with feet of fire
Was soon to mount the blue,
While o'er the silent world were spread
Twilight and hoary dew.
Stay, stay, O sun! awile delay;
Rise not in the blue sky,
But let the little moon still walk
The cloudless realm on high!
Stay, little moon! Oh, linger yet
Upon the heights and hills;
Pass slowly, calmly, where your light
The sleeping valleys fills!
For I have words to utter yet,
To you I would complain.
Oh, many are my bitter griefs,
My heart is cleft in twain.
Bright moon, haste not away because
You hear a mourner's cry!
As comforter of broken hearts
You shine there in the sky.
You come to Eden's land, but not
As on that far first night,
When man was happy, knowing naught
Save life and love's delight.
Then your white radiance was warm
To waves and flowerets fair,
And wheresoe'er your soft light fell,
Immortal life bloomed there.
Turn and look down on me, O moon!
Gaze at our mountains' foot,
And see the ruined temples there,
And tombs so sad and mute, -
Tombs of Armenians who long since
From earth have passed away.
There sleep the ashes of our sires,
In darkness and decay.
Armenians they, the earliest born
Of all the human race,
Who had their home within the land
Once Adam's dwelling-place.
[Here follows a long list of Armenian kings.]
But you are setting fast, O moon!
Your lustre fades away,
And like a silver plate you sink
In cloud-banks dense and gray.
Stay yet a moment's space, O moon,
Stay for the love of me!
There in the valley is one stone
Unknown to history.
Go, let your last light linger there,
And lift it out of gloom,
For that obscure and nameless stone
Will mark the poet's tomb!
Source: Blackwell, Alice Stone. Armenian Poems, Rendered into English Verse. Boston, MA: Atlantic Printing Company, 1917 Provided by: Aram Arkun, Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center Scanned by: Karen Vrtanesyan OCR: Karen Vrtanesyan