ahmet hasim



Deep down, the night has massed again
My darling smiles in her wonted place
My darling who doesn't come by day
Appears at night by the pool.

The moonlight a sash for her waist
The heavens her secret veil
The stars roses in her hand.


On this dark night of love
Wildly the nightingale sings again,
Has Leyla left Mejnun?
I thoght the Wild voice sang of parting pain.

On this dark night of love
I felt my grief, remembered you,
Burned like the love-lorn nightingale's sad refrain.


Slowly, slowly will you mount this stairway
--A heap of sun-tinged leaves upon your skirts-
And for a while gaze weeping at the sky...

The waters darken and your face grows pale,
Look at the scarlet air, for evening comes...

Bowed towards the earth, the roses endless glow,
Flame-like the nightingales bleed upon the boughs;
Has marble turned to bronze, do waters burn?

This is a secret tongue that fills the soul
Look at the scarlet air, for evening comes...


Shall we return then from this dawn of love?
And shall we travel to the realms of night?
Now those who came here earlier than we
Weep for the phantom of an earlier light.

Return? How can there be a turning back?
When hearts are fallen in so sad a plight?
--It is a hand that reaches from the skies-
The darkness draws to oneness and delight.

Translated by Bernard Lewis

AHMET HASIM (1884-1933) was one of the most important modern poet of Turkish literature. He came to Istanbul from Baghdad and began his education at the Mekteb-i Sultani (presently the Galatasaray High School, long known for its excellence in French language education) as a boarding student. There he was introduced to the French poetry which later would influence his own work. The poems that he wrote during these years exhibit a romantic attitude and many lyrical qualities. In his later works, one can see the influence of Seyh Galip (1757-1799), in addition to that of French and Belgian poets. POETRY: Gol Saatleri (1921), Piyale (1926). OTHER WORKS: Gurabhane-i Laklakan (1928, collected newspaper articles), Bize Gore (1928, collected newspaper articles), Frankfurt Seyahatnamesi (1933, travel notes).