“Repentance” by Bedros Tourian

Bedros Tourian (1851-1872) was an Armenian poet and playwright. This is my translation of “Repentance” from Armenian to English. It was written in 1871, a short time before his death.


The end of a day
Yesterday when in cold sweats
I was taking a somber nap,
And two faded roses
Were burning on my cheeks,
Undoubtedly a deathlike pallor
Was glimmering on my forehead
And I experienced a moment of death,
I heard my mother’s sob…
I opened my drowsy eyes,
I saw my mother’s tears…
Oh, true compassion
Pearls false and fake…
My mother had a bottomless pain,
I was that pain…
Ah, a storm formed in my head…
I let this dark torrent out…
Oh, forgive me, my God,
I saw my mother’s tears…

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