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Joined with our Land
Moushegh Ishkhan

O my mother, sun and remote moon,
Transformed into communion bread, you joined with our land
And the age-old earth of our homeland, always sweet,
Became still sweeter.

O my mother, lit by holy heaven and morning,
You gave your soul, laden with incense, to our land,
And the land of our honored fathers, always holy,
Became more sacred still.

O nay mother, treasure, inexhaustible gold mine,
You became both mystery and paltry mound of earth,
Yet the store of unfound treasure, lying deep in our earth,
Became still richer.

O nay mother, source of love's unreachable miracle,
You went to your sleep beneath the Illuminator's star,
And the boundless heart of Armenia's own earth
Became still more motherly.

O my mother, O refuge, O reverenced altar,
Native language, holy vernacular,
Now with your presence, the peerless Armenian world
Became a little more Armenian.

*Note: Gregory, called the Illuminator, was an historical figure;
he brought Christianity to Armenia in A.D. 301.

About The Poet

Moushegh Ishkhan

Orphaned by the massacres at the age of two, Ishkhan was raised in Beirut.

He graduated from the Jemaran. He had gone to Belgium to the University of Brussels in 1938, but World War II interrupted his studies and in 1940 he returned to Beirut. His first book of poems appeared in 1936, The Song the Houses Sing.

Since then he has published plays, novels, and a series of textbooks on Armenian literature in addition to his poetry.