At Night, The Dead Come Into My Room
To Daniel Varoujan
At night, the dead come into my room,
In my heart their hearts are never silent,
They come, bringing blades of green grass
And thin hawthorn branches,
Sit delicately near my bed and sing,
In the caressing coolness
Which floats around their night faces,
Songs of an inimitable sweetness.
Through the open window comes the clear wind,
Which knows so well how to soothe away my grief
And fill my open eyes with legends.
In the sleeping courtyard, under the aspen tree,
White sheets flap on the tall clothes dryer
And sow a vague stupour on the emaciated face of silence.
The familiar moon, with its youngest beams,
Spreads over us its ancient friendship.
Then, uttering light harmonious sighs,
Calm, friendly, docile, my deaths leave me
On their fingertips.
And there is something beautiful, lithe and young
In their measured movements
Bathed in a gentle and profound light.
Then the river of sleep finally flows in me
And my imperious consciousness
Of my luminous duties towards my dead
Envelops me in its living tenderness
And prevents my own death!
Translated from the French of Athanase Vantchev de Thracy by Norton Hodges