The tillers. Daniel Varuzhan

By Daniel Varuzhan
Translated by Tatul Sonentz

Tillers of my village, all mighty sons of the soil,
Weavers of nature’s crown with pearls of sweat.
The fields’ heart beats beneath their hairy chests,
And the sun’s beams swell in their broad veins.

Mother earth’s womb quakes beneath their steps,
Yet nary a shoot wilts under the massive soles.
The head they stoop when facing the Holy Altar
Is always garlanded with the golden dust of hay.

They sow cheer in the furrows, and the Almighty
Reaps kindness from the grooves of their brows.
Only they can hear the flowing song of the sap.

Who cares if the ox’s spittle anoints their hands,
And the smell of the barn clings to gaudy vests?
It is first in their fists that seeds sprout and grow.

The original Armenian («Մշակները») was published in «Հացին երգը» (Hatsin Yerge) published posthumously in Constantinople in 1921. A version of this translation was published in “Song of the Bread” (Hamazkayin Canada, 2021), translated by Tatul Sonentz and edited by Viken Tufenkjian. You can purchase a copy here.

‘The Tiller’ (Digital art: R. Ap)