Bedros Tourian (1851-1872) was an Armenian poet and playwright. This is my translation of “Little Lake” from Armenian to English.
Why are you stunned, little lake?
Your wavelets are not in motion.
Is it that a beautiful woman
Wistfully looked in your mirror?
Or is it that your wavelets
Are admiring the blue of the sky
And those shining clouds
That look like your foam?
My melancholic little lake,
Let us be friends.
Like you, I, too, love
To be alone, silent, meditative.
How many waves you have…
My forehead holds that many thoughts.
How many flakes of foam you have…
My heart has that many wounds.
Even if heaven’s constellations
Fall in your lap
You, you cannot match
my soul, whose fire is infinite.
There, the stars do not die.
The flowers, there, don’t decay.
The clouds don’t form rain
When you and the air are calm.
Little lake, you are my queen!
Let the wind gust through my wrinkles.
Again, in your exciting depths,
You hold me, trembling.
Many have rejected me,
“He only has a lyre,” they said.
Someone: “He trembles; he is pale.”
Another one: “He will die.”
No one said, “This boy’s
sorrowful heart, let’s tear it
To see what is written there…”
There, there is fire, not a book.
There is ashes… a memory…
Let your wavelets move, little lake,
Because a despairing man
Stared into you.