Yesternight I walked Abroad


YESTERNIGHT I walked abroad.
From the clouds sweet dews were falling,
     And my love stood in the road,
All in green, and to me calling.
     To her home she led me straight,
Shut and barred the gate securely ;
     Whoso tries to force that gate
Brave I’ll reckon him most surely !

     In the garden she did go,
Gathered roses dewed with showers ;
     Some she gave her lover, so
He might lay his face in flowers.

     Garments loose and snowy breast,
I slipped in her bosom tender
     And I found a moment’s rest,
Clasped within those arms so slender.
     Then I raised my hands above—
Grant, O Lord, that I wake never ;
     On the bosom of my love
May I live and die forever !

     What have I from this world gained ?
What advantage gathered ever ?
     For the hunt my falcon trained
I let fly—it went forever !

Ah, my falcon, woe the day !
Tell me, whither art thou flying ?
     I will follow all the way—
Since thou wentest I am dying.

     I am ill, and near my end—
With an apple hasten to me.
     I shall curse thee if thou send
Strange physicians to undo me.

     No physicians strange for me—
All my griefs in thee I centre.
     Come and take my bosom’s key,
Open wide the door and enter.
     Once again I say, ’twas not
I that came—’twas thy love brought me.
     In my heart thy love hath got
And its dwelling-place hath wrought me.

     When the falcon hunger feels
Then he finds the game and takes it ;
     When love thirsts, the lover steals
Kisses from his love and slakes it.
     But thou hold’st me with thy charms ;
When I kiss thee thou dost bind me :
     ’Twas but now I left thine arms,
And my looks are turned behind me.
     I am ever, for thy love,
Like the sands in summer, burning :
     Looking up to heaven above,
For one little raindrop yearning.

I would kiss thy forehead chaste,
And thine eyes so brightly gleaming ;
     Fold mine arms about thy waist—
Thick with all thy garments seeming.

     Oft and often have I said
For my love make garments shining :
     Of the sun the facing red,—
Of the moon cut out the lining ;
     Pad it with yon storm-cloud dark,
Sewn with sea weed from the islets :
     Stars for clasps must bring their spark—
Stitch me inside for the eyelets !

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

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