Armenian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 179 pages of information about Armenian Literature.

  The lads for her beauty are burning,
    The elders hold forth on old age,
  But the maiden flies merrily spurning
    Youth, lover, and matron and sage.


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  Sweet lady, whence the sadness in your face? 
  What heart’s desire is still unsatisfied? 
  Your face and form are fair and full of grace,
  And silk and velvet lend you all their pride. 
  A nod, a glance, and straight your maidens fly
  To execute your hest with loving zeal. 
  By night and day you have your minstrelsy,
  Your feet soft carpets kiss and half conceal;
  While fragrant blooms adorn your scented bower,
  Fruits fresh and rare lie in abundance near. 
  The costly narghile exerts its power
  To soothe vain longing and dispel all fear: 
  Envy not angels; you have paradise. 
  No lowly consort you.  A favored wife,
  Whose mighty husband can her wants suffice;
  Why mar with grieving such a fortunate life?

  So to Haripsime, the Armenian maid,
  On whom the cruel fortune of her lot had laid
  Rejection of her faith, spake with a sigh
  The wrinkled, ugly, haggard slave near by.

  Haripsime replied not to the words,
  But, silent, turned her face away.  With scorn
  And sorrow mingled were the swelling chords
  Of passionate lament, and then forlorn,
  Hopeless, she raised her tearful orbs to heaven.

  Silent her lips, her grief too deep for sound;
  Her fixed gaze sought the heavy banks of cloud
  Surcharged with lightning bolts that played around
  The gloomy spires and minarets; then bowed
  Her head upon her hands; the unwilling eyes
  Shed tears as heavy as the thunder-shower
  That trails the bolt to where destruction lies.

  There was a time when she, a happy girl,
  Had home and parents and a numerous kin;
  But on an Eastertide, amid a whirl
  Of pillage, murder, and the savage din
  Of plundering Kavasses, the Pacha saw
  Her budding beauty, and his will was law.

  Her vengeful sire fell ’neath a sabre’s stroke;
  Her mother, broken-hearted, gave to God
  The life in which no joys could now evoke
  The wonted happiness.  The harem of the Turk
  Enfolds Haripsime’s fresh maidenhood,
  And there where danger and corruption lurk,
  Where Shitan’s nameless and befouling brood
  Surround each Georgian and Armenian pearl,
  She weeps and weeps, shunning the shallow joys
  Of trinkets, robes, of music, or the whirl
  Of joyous dance, of singing girls and boys,
  And murmurs always in a sobbing prayer,
  “Shall never help be sent?  Is this despair?”


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Project Gutenberg
Armenian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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