Lament over the Heroes fallen in the Battle of Avarair, by Karekin Srvanstian


IF Goghtan’s bards no longer crown
    Armenia’s heroes with their lays,
Let deathless souls from Heaven come down,
    Our valiant ones to praise !

Ye shining angel hosts, descend :
    On Ararat’s white summit pause ;
Let God Himself the heavens rend,
    To come and judge our cause.

Fly, clouds, from Shavarshan away,
    Pour not on it your gentle rain :—
’Tis drenched with streams of blood to-day
    Shed by our brave ones slain.

Henceforth the rose and asphodel
    No more shall on our plains appear ;
But in the land where Vartan fell
    Shall Faith her blossoms rear.

Fit monument to Vartan’s name,
    Mount Ararat soars to the sky.
And Cross-crowned convents tell his fame,
    And churches vast and high.

Thy record too shall ever stand,
    O Eghishé, for where they fell,
Thou forthwith camest, pen in hand,
    Their faith and death to tell.

Bright sun, pierce with thy rays the gloom,
    Where Khaghdik’s crags thy light repel,
There lies our brave Hmayag’s tomb,—
    There, where he martyred fell.

And, moon, thy sleepless vigil keep
    O’er our Armenian martyrs’ bones ;
With the soft dews of Maytime steep
    Their nameless funeral stones.

Armenia’s Stork, our summer guest,
    And all ye hawks and eagles, come,
Watch o’er this land—’tis our bequest—
    We leave to you our home.

About the ashes hover still,
    Your nests among the ruins make ;
And, swallows, come and go until
    Spring for Armenia break !

Armenian legends and poems by Zabelle C. Boyajian and Aram Raffi, London & New York, 1916.

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