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Darde Serdis ("Sorrow In My Heart")
Avetik Isahakian

With sorrow in my heart,
Poor and wretched,
Cane in hand, my head bare,
After many years of pilgrimage,
Once again I returned to my native land.

Life with its burden,
My back hunched,
My mind confused and wandering,
From seven hills and seven valleys,
I returned yet again to my native land.

At the entrance of the village,
I spied my childhood friend.
Ah! My dear friend,
With a longing heart I ran to him,
And said, "Greetings treasured friend!
Do you not remember me?"
Alas! I had changed a lot,
Sadly he could not remember me.

Cane in hand, I entered our village,
Passing along the home of my beloved,
There I saw my love, rose in hand,
Standing lonesome by her door.
I implored, "My love, your sweet
Countenance has forever enchanted me."
She too could not remember me,
I was poor and disheveled.

With a sorrowful heart,
I reached our home.
And came upon my aging, helpless mother.
I said, "Madame, I'm a traveling man,
Would you allow me
As your guest for the night?"

Ah! My precious mother,
She wrapped me in her embrace,
Held me close to her heart and cried,
"Oh! My dear gentle son, is that really you?"

About The Poet

Avetik Isahakian

Avetik Issahakian was born in October of 1875 in a little village called 'Khazarabad,' in Armenia. He received his education at Eichmiadzin's Spiritual Academy, followed by studies at Leipzig and Zurich Universities in Europe, which included courses in history and literature.

Issahakian spent time in Paris, France and in 1934 returned to Armenia, where he played an active role in creating the Armenian Academy of Sciences. He was also nominated to the Chairmanship of the Armenian Writers.

Mr. Issahakian wrote numerous lyrics that dealt with themes of fatherland and of motherly love. Some of his works were, "Yerker oo Verker" (Songs and Wounds), "Abu Lalla Mahari," "Im Hogin" (My Soul), "Mayrigis" (To My Mother), "Gisher" (Night), "Goozes Linem" (You Want Me To Be), "Hayrenikits Heroo" (Away From My Fatherland), "Dariner Hedo" (Years Later).

Dozens of his poems were set to music. His works in Armenian were translated and published in English, Russian and many other languages.

Issahakian died in 1957 and was buried in Yerevan's Artist's Pavilion.