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Alice Stone Blackwell

ARMENIAN POEMS


Contents | Table of contents [as in the book] | Preface | Introduction

Bedros Tourian | Michael Nalbandian | Abp. Khorène Nar Bey De Lusignan
Mugurditch Beshiktashlian | Raphael Patkanian | Leo Alishan | St. Gregory of Narek
Nerses the Graceful | Saïat Nova | Djivan | Raffi | Koutcharian | Terzyan | Totochian
Damadian | Atom Yarjanian (Siamanto) | Daniel Varoujan | Archag Tchobanian
Hovhannes Toumanian | Hovhannes Hovhannessian | Zabel Assatour (Madame Sybil)
Mugurditch Chrimian Hairig | M. Portoukalian | Mihran Damadian
Arshag D. Mahdesian | Nahabed Koutchak | Shoushanig Khourghinian
Avedik Issahakian | Avedis Aharonian | Karekin Servantzdiantz | Bedros Adamian
Tigrane Yergate | Khorène M. Antreassian | Djivan | Miscellaneous songs and poems

APPENDIX: The Armenian Women | The Armenian Church
Bibliography | Comments on the first edition of "Armenian Poems"


HOVHANNES TOUMANIAN was born in a village of Lorga in 1869. He received little schooling, but has educated himself. His poems are very popular; and he is also the author of many translations. Since the late massacres he has been active and tireless in the relief work.

1. When Some Day
2. Before a Painting by Ayvasovky
3. In the Cottage

1. WHEN SOME DAY.

SWEET comrade, when you come some day
To gaze upon my tomb,
And scattered all around it see
Bright flowers in freshest bloom,

Think not that those are common flowers
Which at your feet are born,
Or that the spring has brought them there
My new home to adorn.

They are my songs unsung, which used
Within my heart to hide;
They are the words of love I left
Unuttered when I died.

They are my ardent kisses, dear,
Sent from that world unknown,
The path to which before you lies
Blocked by the tomb alone!

2. BEFORE A PAINTING BY AYVASOVSKY.

RISING from ocean, billows uncontrolled,
With heavy flux and reflux, beating high,
Towered up like mountains, roaring terribly;
The wild storm blew with wind gusts manifold—
A mad, tempestuous race
Through endless, boundless space.

“Halt!” cried the aged wizard, brush in hand,
To the excited elements; and lo!
Obedient to the voice of genius, now
The dark waves, in the tempest’s fury grand,
Upon the canvas, see!
Stand still eternally!

3. IN THE COTTAGE.

THE little children wept and wailed;
Heart-rending were the tears they shed.
“Mamma, mamma, we want our food!
Get up, mamma, and give us bread!”

With bitter sorrow in her heart
Groaned the sick mother from her bed:
“We have no bread, my little ones;
Papa has gone to get you bread.”

“No, you are cheating, bad mamma!
You are deceiving us! You said
That when the sunlight struck the banks
Papa would come and bring us bread.

“The sun has come, the sun has gone;
Still are we hungry, still unfed.
Mamma, mamma, we want our food!
Get up, mamma, and give us bread!”

“No bread your father yet has found;
Without it he dares not come back.
Wait but a little while, my dears!
Now I will follow in his track.

“In heaven there is a great Papa;
Abundant store of bread has he.
He loves you much, so very much,
He will not let you hungry be.

“There will I go and say to him
That you are faint with hunger sore.
Plenty of bread I’ll ask for you,
That you may eat, and weep no more.”

So spake the mother, and she clasped
The starving children to her breast.
On her pale lips the last kiss froze
That to their faces thin she pressed.

The mother’s arms unclosed no more—
She shut her eyes and went away
Bread to her little ones to send—
And lifeless in their sight she lay.

The little children wept and wailed;
Heart-rending were the tears they shed.
“Mamma, mamma, we want our food;
Get up, mamma, and give us bread!”

 

See also:

Biography of Hovhannes Toumanian
Russian translations of Toumanian's poetry
Russian poetry translated by Alice Stone Blackwell

Acknowledgements:

Source: Blackwell, Alice Stone. Armenian Poems, Rendered into English Verse. Boston, MA: Atlantic Printing Company, 1917
Provided by: Aram Arkun, Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center
Scanned by: Karen Vrtanesyan
OCR: Karen Vrtanesyan

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