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Gourgen Mahari

The whole night through the poplars
Rustled near the fence,
The whole night through my heart
Listened to the sound,
Nightlong there brushed softly past my ear
An old longing of long ago,
It trilled a name
Far and away across the fields.

Cymbals were set tinkling
And silver-sounding bandoras,
Ah, lightly, ever so lightly
The winds danced the whole night through;
The whole night through I held my way
Along a timeworn lane of long ago,
And dead days all around me
And the petals of dead flowers.

Your songs are mine once again
And now, when the nighttide is upon me,
My tumble of desires rushes again
Like the rising springtime streams,
And so it is my autumn days
Seem to me still remote,
And my days appear to me
Carefree still and brightly aflame.

I grow again with you,
O poplars, my white brides,
My dream's golden fabric,
Heaven's priceless charm-
My fruits have ripened beneath you,
From you my crops have come,
In the burning sun of my native land,
O golden Nairean lyre.

About The Poet

Gourgen Mahari

Gourgen Mahari was born in Van and during the massacres escaped to eastern Armenia, where he spent his late childhood in orphanages. He later attended Yerevan State University. His poetry began appearing in 1917. Several volumes later he was established as a strong lyric voice. During the Stalinist purges he was jailed for nationalistic tendencies (references to his home and childhood). He was exiled to Siberia until 1953. His experiences and suffering in the concentration camps are described with wit and dark humor in the novel Blossoming Barbed Wires. This work has been compared to Solzhenytsin's novels. Besides poetry, he wrote several other novels and a book of memories.