Azerbaijan

I've walked these mountains again and again,
Passed by the springs bright-eyed as cranes,
And caught the distant plashing strain
Where quiet Araks' waters moved:
Here love and friends I've truly proved.

Men know that you are mine by birth:
My nest, my refuge, and my hearth,
My mother, native land, dear earth!
Sever soul and body? Death but can.
O Azerbaijan, my Azerbaijan!

As mother to me, as child to you
Such is the bond we ever knew:
I'd come back wherever I flew,
For you are my people, youmy nest,
My native birthplace ever blest.

When I'm away, your face unseen,
When times and forces intervene,
My hair is touched with silver sheen
For months and years press age on me:
My land, don't blame your absentee.

Your mountain crests are topped with snow,
And clouda shawl of fleecy flow,
Your past is greater than we know.
Your age from everyone obscured,
And none may guess what you've endured.
Evil tongues spread defamation
You lived through years of dark privation.
Still, generation to generation
Your fame lives on: a benison
To happy daughter, happy son.

Across your valleys long I stare,
On clear days full of lucent air;
My spirit broods on faces fair,
Thirsting for poetic tongue
Creating verses makes me young.

Khazar the sea you border on
Where floats the legendary swan...
My day-dreams sweep me swiftly on
To.Mugan Lowland, on to Mi ell:
A long life roadhalf-done, I feel.

The mountain ranges, valley sweep,
Gladden the heart till it could weep. . .
Glimpse of startled fawn and chamois leap-
How much beauty on which to gazel
Pastures cool and steppes ablaze.

Cross the mountains, over steppe-land,
Or through Astar, Lenkoran
From African and Indian strand
Birds fly to visit, with us pause,
Freed from oppressive grasping claws.

It's here the yellow lemons grow,
The heavy branches weighting low.
Up in the mountains, white the snow
And deep from winter's opulence:
Since Creationa true defense.

Lenkoran is a dazzle of flowers,
Refreshed by the springtime showers,
Clustering on beds and bowers,
My motherland's delightful daughter,
Bordered on by Khazar's water.

The golden wheat we grow- our bread,
Our cottonwealth of snowy heads;
Squeeze the juice from grapes wine-red
Before you breakfast, drain a cup
And feel your spirit surging up.

In Khazakh mount, and give free rein,
Lean well over the horse's mane,
A sweating gallop then maintain:
On reaching mountain pastures high,
Look down on Gyok-Gyollmirrored sky.

A day that's free, a man that's free,
A spring like this invites a spree!
Seek out the shade of a plane tree
To spread a rug that's rainbow-spun
And hail the country of the Sun!

Through Karabakh my spirit fares,
Wings over mountain here, now there;
From far away down the twilit air
Drifts the song of Khan of Shusha
Famed through all Caucasus and Russia.

Beautiful birthland! Your meaning deep,
Cradle of Beauty that never sleeps,
Where songs of bard, inspired, sweep.
The sun's embraceyour counterpart,
O land of poetry and art.

Spirit immortal, works immortal;
Nizami, Fisuliare immortal!
On pen and paper, open the portals
Of your soul, record the flow:
The word once writthrough time will go.

Look at the sea near our Baku:
Its shore a bright-lit avenue,
The derricks roaring right in view;
They thunder where the steppe-land swales
To light the mountains and the vales.

The cool wind is a merry tease,
We bare our chests to the off-shore breeze.
Our heart, Baku on Caspian seas.
Its lightour very strength adorning:
Our Morning Starclear eye of morning.

Beautiful birthland! I was born
Together with freedom's dawn
Which crimson banners did adorn
Life seemed one endless, joyous feast;
Gay songs and laughter never ceased.

Dear country gate of the Ancient East.

Gladys Evans translation


 

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