SWEET slumber now creeps o’er thee slow,
Sweet breezes rock thee to and fro :
My baby sleeps, so soft and low
With sweetest songs I’ll sing oror.
O Mother dear, thou art unkind
My sleepless eyes so long to bind.
Anon I’ll rest, and sleep resigned ;—
Release me now, sing not oror.
Why dost thou shed those tears that flow
Down thy sad cheeks with pearly glow ?
Thou’lt break thy heart with sobbing so,—
Whom wilt thou have to sing oror ?
At least my hands and feet unbind—
My tender limbs are all confined ;
That gentle sleep my eyes may find,
Then tie me in, and sing oror.
That tongue of thine is passing sweet,
Yet with thy yards I cannot mete.
Thou wilt not sleep, but at thy feet
Wouldst have me sit, and sing oror.
All piteously I raise my prayer,
I sob and cry, thou dost not hear.
Thy sweet voice seems to charm thine ear—
I weep, thou singest still oror.
Hush, hush, and sleep, my baby dear.
My love shall guard thee, year by year,
Until my rose-tree blossoms fair,
Then ’neath his shade I’ll sing oror.
Thy heart is made of stone, I see.
I wept and wept, all uselessly.
Now I shall sleep, I can’t be free,
All night, all night sing me oror !
Armenian babies have their eyes bandaged when they are put to sleep, and they are tied into their cradles.
Armenian legends and poems by Zabelle C. Boyajian and Aram Raffi, London & New York, 1916.