Translated by Jennifer Manoukian (Ararat Magazine)
This poem, written at the age of seventeen, is Zabel Yessayan’s first published work. It appeared in the first volume of Arshag Chobanian’s literary journal Dzaghig (Constantinople) in 1895.
Come, oh night, come, cover the world with your black skirts, subdue the last breath of twilight with your coolness, cover the world in your funereal darkness.
The day enters your somber breast in its tomb, dragging along with it all the feelings and concerns sprouting within.
Loving hearts anxiously wait for you to smother their reveries in your darkness. Come, close their weary eyes with your invisible fingers. Take them to the depths of slumber for a few hours.
Resting on your black arms, take them far from the daily routine that has exhausted them. In your coolness, lull them to sleep with your sweet music. Let their worries melt away for a few hours in your solemn realm.
Your arrival brings with it precious memories. You are a friend to the lonely. It is you who sees the most private tears.
The sleepless, miserable individuals who pass by open windows take in your cool darkness.
Their thoughts and feelings wander around in your breast. And you take them all, burying them in your consoling obscurity.