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Armenian Legends and Poems [1916] at

p. 37




ARMENIAN maidens, come and view
In Shavarshan a lily new!

The radiant type of maidenhood,
    Crown of Armenia's pride!
From the fair brow beneath her veil
    The wind-stirred curls float wide
With little steps, like turtle dove,
    She walks the dew-bright plain;
Her lips drop honey, and her eyes
    Effulgent glances rain.

The beauty of Armenia,
    A sun-like mirror clear,
Our Northern star is bright Santoukhd,
    The king's fair daughter dear.
She has come forth, the graceful bride
    On whom the East and West
Desire to look, while fires of love
    Consume the gazer's breast.

Less fair the bright and morning star,
    ’Mid cloudlets small and fine;
Less fair the fruit whose rosy tints
    ’Mid apple leaves outshine;
Araxes' hyacinthine flower
    That chains of dew doth wear,
All are less beautiful than she,
    With gracious mien and air.

p. 38

At sight of her, the snowy peaks
     Melt and are flushed with rose;
Trees, flowers bud forth; the nightingales
     All sing where’er she goes.
The bell-flowers open myriad eyes
     When she comes through the bowers;
Beneath her breath, the vales and hills
     Alike are clad in flowers.

Before her have been bent to earth
     Foreheads with diadems;
The valley has become a hill
     Of scattered gold and gems.
Where passes by with humble grace
     Armenia's virgin sweet,
Fine sands of pearls come longingly
     To spread beneath her feet.

Full many a monarch's valiant son
     Has left his palace home
In Persia or Albania,
     In India or in Rome.
Admiringly they gaze on her,
     Exclaiming, "Happy he
Who wins the fair Armenian maid
     His bride beloved to be!"

But palace worthy of Santoukhd
     The earth can nowhere show,
And for the arches of her brows
     This world is all too low.

p. 39

The Sky says, "Let her on my throne
     Reign queen o’er every land."
The Ocean says, "My purple waves
     Shall bow to her command."

There is One greater than the earth,
     More wide than sea-waves run,
Higher and vaster than the heavens,
     And brighter than the sun.
There is a formidable King
     Whose power no bound has known;
The royal maid Santoukhd shall be
     For Him, and Him alone.
Her halls of light are all prepared,
     And for a footstool meet
The azure sky adorned with stars
     Awaits her dove-like feet.

   .       .       .       .       .       .

The sharp sword glitters in the air,
     And swift the red blood flows;
Santoukhd, who was a lily fair,
     Falls to the earth, a rose.
The sword flashed once, and aspects three
     Were in Santoukhd descried;
Her heart dropped blood, and roses red
     Sprang up on every side;
Her eyes were violet chalices,
Sweet e’en while they expire;
     Her face, like lilies half unclosed,
But on her lips what fire!

The heaven and earth shine white and red;
     Come forth and gather, maids,

p. 40

The rose and lily joined in one,
     This peerless flower that fades!
Lay in the tomb that youthful corpse,
     With Thaddeus, good and brave.
Sweet maiden of Armenia,
     Her sweet soil be thy grave!
Armenian maids, a lily new
Is brought to Shavarshan for you!

                     Translated by Alice Stone Blackwell.

Santoukhd was martyred by the order of her father, King Sanadroug, for becoming a Christian.


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