In honor of National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, we present this work by one of Turkey’s cleverest poets.
Come hither, Mistrel of the Feast of Time,
Whose minstrelsy ennobleth every clime!
As thou the songster at Joy’s Banquet art,
Wilt thou not look on us in kindly part?
Let all the feast be filled with melody,
Let beauties carol in thy company.
Be all the instruments of music blent,
And let the veil of mystery be rent.
For each is potent in some gramarye,
Magicians some, and some enchaters be.
The Harp in magic craft is great of worth,
It brings the new moon down from heaven to earth.
The Mandoline pursues its humours e’er;
If thou would have it sing, then twist its ear.
The Mandoline can’t grapple with the Lute;
Then why torment itself when naught can boot?
A spell it sings when chants the Dulcimer;
It is the ruler for Love’s register.
No Tabret deem that in the minstrel’s hand,
A target ‘tis woe’s arrows to withstand.
What wonder if it all the world o’erthrow? —
The bandit Viol’s armed with shaft and bow.
Amid the feast to call me into mind
The Flute a thread doth round its finger bind.
Where bides one like the Ghittern sweet of say,
The chosen, the elect of the array?
Since joy of soul doth from their voices tide,
Withouten music let no party bide.
Does a great nation think it is a blessing
To be captive of a person by your order o God?
Does a sword of oppression to burn and destroy the world
Attack like this by your command o God?
Your fury let oppressors do what they want
Even conscience will say with despair there is no divine justice.
Thousands of sparkling sighs raise to heavens
Heavens only repeat the raising sighs
On one side houses of thousands of poors are burning
On the other side the light of millions of youngsters is faded
A stricken mother whose hand is on her chest
Moans because she buried her son into black soil.
Many unfortunate people cry losing their honor
In order to eat a handful of bread.
Thousands of orphans bowed their heads down
Families who lost their homes look for a shelter.
Oppressed people complains, oppressors are in regret
Bloody murderer is drowned in the blood of his victims.
Don´t you think the world scene famous with showing
—Sick, stricken, naked, miserable, paralyzed, incapable
Poor, unworthy, cruel, troubled, captived people,
Unfortunately all this endless crowd—
Presents a bloody watch o God?
I looked at you from another hill, dear Istanbul!
I know you like back of my hand, and love you dearly.
Come, come and sit on my heart’s throne as long as I live
Just to love a district of yours is worth a whole life.
There are many flourishing cities in the world.
But you’re the only one who creates enchanting beauty.
I say, he who has lived happily, in the longest dream,
Is he who spent his life in you, died in you, and was buried in you.