Ode to Ali Azaykou
'Wave caps and rafts all adorned with jade;
small birds, tiny and blue
perch together on the oars'
Don't cry, Igran n Tuinight,
Don't cry my frail dove
In the pink smile of the Amazigh sky!
Keep your tears of bitter diamonds
For the gold and snowdrop diadem
Of your immortal son, of the blessed scion
Of your firm breast.
Keep your ruby smile
For your glorious child,
The eagle with the dagger look
Which you generously nourished
With the grassy milk from your gleaming breast!
Shining daughters of the Atlas,
Joyful swallows in azure dresses,
And you, the resplendent young,
Fine falcons with imperial pride,
Sing on this day of venerable mourning
In this dark hour of sad goodbyes
The prophetic verses of Ali Azaykou,
The superb bard of your heroic race!
Speak his words
And they will light up lofty braziers of fire
In your pure throats, repeat them again and again
While the autumn of Amazigh jade
Slips into the intimate circle of your souls.
In every syllable of your verse there are
Wild sprays of free-growing mint,
Fragrant branches of graceful pine,
The vagabond murmur of green waters
And the vivid smile of the slender white
Daisies of the mountains.
There is, Ali Azaykou,
A clear music in your words like
Small blue drops of rain filled with the light.
Your words of flint which do not know
The cruel claws of fear!
Free as the song of the sands,
They open their powerful white wings
And climb towards the mossy nests
Of eagles, friends of the mountains,
And the loving hearts of your limpid people.
You who knew how to stay hard as steel,
You who cried loudly and strongly the torments of your heart,
You who lifted into the blue Moroccan sky
The victorious banners of your immortal race,
Crushed for centuries by the lead weight
Of the shameful silence of the ages!
You who were the pure dignity, the trenchant lordliness,
The frank, the open speech of the Berbers!
You, timitar and izmuln,
Divine sign and bloody and deep scar
Of the infinite depths of Amazighe history!
Turning your face towards the beauty of the poetry
Of all the imdiazn of vast Tamazgha
Good friend to the rough, naïve songs of the rways,
Each time before lifting your titan voice
To speak your infinite love, you looked at
The ceremonious treetops of the Atlas
Which pierce the breast of the skies
And the bewitching villages of your lofty country!
You cleansed, Ali Azaykou, you cleansed
The soul of your people of the ancient blood from their wounds.
You cleaned the face of your compatriots
With the blue snow of your courage,
You gave it back its brightness,
Rubbing its silence with the red seeds of your anger
Trembling like the clusters of rowan
Under the devastating tempests of history!
O Amazighe land, confused and grave!
You have the savour of an old feudal wine
Fragrant with white lily
And the liquid gold of dawn!
O Amazighe land, land so noble,
Land so beautiful in the light of your pride
And the dread of your magical purity!
I love the magical odour of time
That wells up from your intoxicating grasses,
The adolescent time
That blooms between the linen lashes of your magnificent children,
Time that flows on the lips of Amazighe women,
Perfect as a Petrarchian poem!
Now you are no longer alone Ali Azaykou d'Igran n Tuinight,
You, the shepherd of the clouds, who, one day at dawn
Left the laughing province of Taroudant,
To cross the continents
Of all the hearts of Morocco
And the world!
Through you, Poet,
Prince of amorous lucidity,
There grow today in every Amazigh body
The trees of fierce liberty!
Ali of the azure sky of Tamazgha,
Ali of all the wounds,
Ali of the lush victory of life
Sleep now in the warm lap of the mountains
Which once carried the gentle weight
Of your small bare feet,
You, the child elected by the gods!
You, my brother of the kingdom of the Word,
You became for ever
The unfading voice of wild hearts,
The ghostly breath, the redemptive voice of true souls!
Sleep now, tender Lover, indomitable Knight
Of the captivating Berber tongue.
You will speak with granite stones,
You will listen to the murmurs of your joyous-minded people!
Sweet to their ears will be your harmoniously rugged voice
And, awakened to the crystalline melody of your verse,
All Nature will beg you thus:
Sing us again, poet of the free spaces,
Sing to us for ever poems exalting beauty,
Give to us from your inimitable warmth,
Cover us with the bright kisses of your lines!
O my Friend Ali,
As soon as the slender shadows lie down on your tomb,
The divine Amazighe night,
In love with the strong beats
Of your immortal heart, will pour onto the ground where you lie
All the bushels of its abundant soul full of stars!
The fairies of the Berber forest, clad in branches of white jasmine,
Will come to dance around you
And fill the invigorating air of the High Atlas
With chants so beautiful
That all beings will forget to breathe!
And the millennial gods of your eternal land
Will tell the splendid children of your country
Safe in the arms of their mothers
The wonderful legends where live for ever
All the glorious heroes of their vast homeland!
Traduit en anglais par Norton Hodges