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Armenian Legends and Poems [1916] at

p. 108



WHENCE comest thou, my moon, gentle and still,
Spreading thy light o’er meadow, vale, and hill,
And o’er this patriarch, that lost in thought
The midnight plains of Avarair has sought
Whereon our fathers, martyred for the right,
As giants fell, to rise as angels bright!
Com'st thou to spread upon their ashes cold
From yonder snowy cloud a pall of gold?
Or would’st thou bind around thy brow of light
A token of Armenia's life-blood bright?-
Or art thou still in awestruck wonder lost
To think how Vartan fell, with all his host;--
Leaving death's shadow in his foeman's breast,
Trusting his soul to God, he sank to rest!

And thou, Dughmood, that stained with blood I see
Winding amongst thy rushes sobbingly;
Thou breeze that from Magou's steep rock dost waft,
Or from great Ararat descendest soft;--
Thou too like me dost tremble, and thy wings
Listlessly bear thee on thy wanderings:
O’er hill and dale thou fliest, from wood to wood,
Till on this plain thou stay’st thy wings to brood;
Then bearest on this careworn heart's last sigh
To echo in Armenia ere it die!

p. 109

O friend of aching hearts, soul of the rose,
That breakest with thy voice the night's repose;
Sing, little Nightingale, from yonder tree--
Armenia's deathless heroes sing with me!
From Thaddeus' convent as thy voice I heard,
Praying before the cross, my heart was stirred.
I hastened forth beneath thy magic spell
And found thee on the plain where Vartan fell.

Ah, Nightingale of Avaraïr, they say
No bird art thou that nightly sing’st thy lay,
But Eghishé, the singer wondrous sweet,
That in the rose's heart Vartan dost greet.
The winter drives thee far away to mourn;
Spring's roses bid thee to Ardaz return,
In Eghishé's sad notes to sob and cry,
To call Vartan, and list for a reply.

If ever like the fainting Nightingale's
My voice with you, Togarmah's sons, prevails,--
Sons of those fathers virtuous and wise,
Who with their glories filled books, plains, and skies;--
If of Armenian blood one drop should flow
Within your veins, or make your hearts to glow;
Or if their glories past you too would share,
To Ardaz with the patriarch repair!


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