Nocturne 6

Alas, the human

had adapted to the pain of his centuries;

Alas!

We did not know this

and shoulder to shoulder

in the breath-filled streets of battle

we screamed.

 

Gods had all vanished

and there was just the name of the human

the device of the charm that drove the most beautiful heroes

into baring their own blood.

 

Alas, the human had adapted to the pain of his centuries!

 

With a hysteric shiver

like a dove calling its mate

we screamed the name of the human

and bloomed

the same as a sunflower

that screams

the sun

with the mouth of

blooming.

 

 

But the human, alas

had adapted

to the pain of his centuries.

 

With feet in chain and body bare

he looked down on our efforts

like a wiseman

on a band of madmen

who foolishly cheer

in their naked feast.

 

In a battle which its definite end shall have had such an uncertain start,

we who had no shields other than the bareness of our souls

fought hand to hand with the enemy

whose arrows of fury

would pierce our scream of pain

like an infected abscess.

 

 

Oh well, the call of hell too

as long as there is deceit at work

does not sound

less unpleasant than

the call of heavens.

 

We used to think that a colorful aurora

_as we fall down to the pavement of the night_

with a kiss on our wishful blood

would bloom.

 

And the companions, one by one, fell down

[for the human

alas, had adapted to the pain of his centuries]

And their names vanished from memories

_except for on the corner of a notebook [some would believe so]_

For the human, alas

had adapted to the pain of his centuries.

 

 

In the murk where god and demon have the same display

I will not repeat that absurd scream anymore.

All creeds are but an excuse for a fight

over the throne of authority,

and the human

alas, had adapted to the pain of his centuries.

 

Oh my companion, your glance is a fresh aurora

more brilliant than the aurora in my dreams,

An aurora that

dried in my blood

and waned in the murk of reality

with the elegy of my companions.

 

 

The earth of the god is flat

and love

is dull and drab

for the promised hell

is already here.

 

 

Let our first kisses be

the memorial of those kisses

that our companions

with the crimson lips of their wounds

put on the thankless earth.

 

Your love consoles me;

and also alarms me

for this herd was not worth dying for

without having known you.

 

Philosophical Poems by Ahmad Shamlou
Photo by Vadim Stein

Ahmad Shamlou“Nocturne – 6” (Original title: «شبانه – 6»)

By Ahmad Shamlou

Translated by Sina Ghasemi

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