“Many years later a gentleman came from Stavropol to our city, who gave me some news of the poor wretches. They had settled in a Cossack village—he told me the name, but I have forgotten—where at first they suffered great want; and just as things were going a little better with them, Mairam and Sarkis died of the cholera and Takusch and Toros were left alone. Soon after, a Russian officer saw Takusch and was greatly pleased with her. After a few months she married him. Toros carried on his father’s business for a time, then gave it up and joined the army. So much I found out from the gentleman from Stavropol.
“Some time later I met again one who knew Takusch. He told me that she was now a widow. Her husband had been a drunkard, spent his whole nights in inns, often struck his poor wife, and treated her very badly. Finally they brought him home dead. Toros’s neck had been broken at a horse-race and he was dead. He said also that Takusch had almost forgotten the Armenian language and had changed her faith.
“’That is the history of the Vacant Yard.”
* * * * *
[Metrical Version, by Robert Arnot, M.A.]
* * * * *
Were I a springtime breeze,
A breeze in the time when the song-birds pair,
I’d tenderly smooth and caress your hair,
And hide from your eyes in the budding trees.
Were I a June-time rose,
I’d glow in the ardor of summer’s behest,
And die in my passion upon your breast,
In the passion that only a lover knows.
Were I a lilting bird,
I’d fly with my song and my joy and my pain,
And beat at your lattice like summer-rain,
Till I knew that your inmost heart was stirred.
Were I a winged dream,
I’d steal in the night to your slumbering side,
And the joys of hope in your bosom I’d hide,
And pass on my way like a murmuring stream.
Tell me the truth, the truth,
Have I merited woe at your tapering hands,
Have you wilfully burst love’s twining strands,
And cast to the winds affection and ruth?
’Twas a fleeting vision
While you loved me you plumed your silvery wings,
And in fear of the pain that a man’s love brings
You fled to a bliss that has no alloy.
* * * * *
SPRING IN EXILE
Wind of the morn, of the morn of the year,
Violet-laden breath of spring,
To the flowers and the lasses whispering
Things that a man’s ear cannot hear,
In thy friendly grasp I would lay my hand,
But thou comest not from my native land.