I BEHELD my love this morning, in the garden paths she strayed,
All brocaded was the ground with prints her golden pattens made ;
Like the nightingale, I warbled round my rose with wings displayed,
And I wept, my reason faltered, while my heart was sore dismayed.
Grant, O Lord, that all my foemen to such grief may be betrayed !
Love, with these thy whims and humours thou hast wrecked and ruined me.
Thou hast drunk of love’s own nectar, thy lips speak entrancingly.
With those honeyed words how many like me thou hast bound to thee !
Take the knife and slay me straightway—pass not by me mockingly.
Since I die of love, ’twere better Beauty stabbed and set me free.
For I have no love beside thee—I would have thee know it well.
Thou for whom e’en death I’d suffer, list to what I have to tell.
See thou thwart not thy Creator,—all the past do not dispel :
Anger not thy Sayat Nova, for when in thy snare he fell
He was all bereft of reason by thy whims’ and humours’ spell.
Armenian legends and poems by Zabelle C. Boyajian and Aram Raffi, London & New York, 1916.