“My Death” by Bedros Tourian

Bedros Tourian (1851-1872) was an Armenian poet and playwright. This is my translation of “My Death” from Armenian to English.

My Death

If the grim angel of death
Descends to face me with a baseless smile,
And my pains and soul evaporate,
Know that I am still alive.

If, with my forehead shining with tears,
In a shroud, like a cold rock,
They wrap me, lay me in a black casket,
Know that I am still alive.

If, at my bedside, my exemplar,
A taper – feeble and wan –
With a cold ray shimmers,
Know that I am still alive.

If the sad bell tolls,
The wicked laughter of death vibrates,
And my coffin takes its silent step,
Know that I am still alive.

If those funeral singers
Who have dark and dismal faces
Spread incense and prayers
Know that I am still alive.

If they decorate my grave,
And with sobbing and mourning
My dear ones depart,
Know that I am still alive.

But if it remains unmarked,
The only pile of earth of mine
In the world, and my memory fades
Ah! This is the time when I die.

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