Armenian Literature: Raphael Badganian- Հիմի էլ Լռենք

Raphael Badganian (also known as Kamar Katiba), born on November 8, 1830 in Nor Nakhichevan, Russia, was one of the most popular Armenian poets. While at the University of Moscow, he created a literary club for his Armenian students, and from initials of their names formed his own pen-name of Kamar Katiba. Many of his poems were written during the Turco-Russian war, when the Russian Armenians had high hopes for the deliverance of Turkish Armenia from Ottoman rule. Badganian died in 1892, after forty-two years of his continuous activity as a teacher, author, and editor.

 

 

Հիմի էլ Լռենք

This excerpt is what is used from the original for it’s musical variation

Հիմի է՛լ լռենք, եղբայրք, հիմի է՛լ,
Երբ մեր թշնամին իր սուրն է դրել,
Իր օրհասական սուրը մեր կրծքին
Ականջ չի դնում մեր լաց ու կոծին:

Ասացե՛ք, եղբայրք, հայեր, ի՞նչ անենք,
Հիմի՞ է՛լ լռենք: 

Հիմի էլ լռենք, երբ մեր թշնամին
Խլեց մեր սուրը՝ պաշտպան մեր անձին,
Մշակի ձեռքից էլ խոփը խլեց,
Այդ սուր ու խոփից մեր շղթան կռեց:

Վա՜յ մեզշղթայով կապուած գերի ենք,
Հիմի՞
 է՛լ լռենք

Թող լռէ մունջը, անդամալոյծը,
Կամ որոնց քաղցր է թշնամու լուծը,
Բայց մենք, որ ունենք հոգի ու սիրտ քաջ,
Ե՛կ անվախ ելնենք թշնամու առաջ:

Գոնէ մեր փառքը մահով ետ խլենք,
Ու այսպես լռենք:

English Translation:

Shall We Be Silent?

SHALL we be silent, brothers?
Shall we be silent still?
Our foe has set against our breasts
His sword, that thirsts to kill;
His ears are deaf to cries and groans.

O brothers, make avow !
What shall we do ? What is our part ?
Shall we keep silence now ?
Our foe has seized our fatherland

By guile and treachery ;
Has blotted out the name of Haig,
And ruined utterly
The house of Thorkom, to the ground ;

Has reft from us, to boot,
Our crown, our arms, our right of speech —
And shall we still be mute ?

Our foe has seized our guardian swords,
Our ploughs that tilled the plain,
And from the ploughshare and the sword
Has welded us a chain.

Alas for us ! for we are slaves,
And fettered hand and foot
With bonds and manacles of iron —
And shall we still be mute?

Our foeman, holding o’er our heads
His weapon fierce and strong,
Makes us devour our bitter tears,
Our protests against wrong.

So many woes are heaped on us,
To weep our sorrows’ sum
We need the broad Euphrates’ flood –
And shall we still be dumb?

Our foe, with overweening pride,
Treads justice under foot,
And drives us from our native soil —
And shall we still be mute ?

Like strangers in our fatherland,
Pursued o’er plain and hill,
O brothers, where shall we appeal?
Shall we be silent still?

Not yet content with all the ills
That he has made us bear,
His insolent and cursed hand
He stretches forth, to tear

The last bond of our nation’s life —
And, if he have his will,
Complete destruction waits for us ;
Shall we be silent still?

Scorning the glory of our land,
Our foe, with malice deep,
Invades our church, and makes the wolf
The shepherd of the sheep.

We have no sacred altars now;
In valley or on hill
No place of prayer is left to us;
Shall we be silent still?

If we keep silence, even now,
When stones have found a voice,
Will not men say that slavery
Is our desert and choice ?

The sons of brave and holy sires,
Sprung from a sacred root,
We know the deeds our fathers did —
How long shall we be mute ?

Mute be the dumb, the paralyzed,
Those that hold slavery dear !
But we, brave hearts, let us march forth
To battle, without fear;

And, if the worst befall us,
Facing the foe like men,
Win back in death our glory,
And sleep in silence then !

Raphael Badganian
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