Persian Voices: Don’t Cry
Dust on my head! The child has woken up!
Go to sleep my pet; the Bogey man is coming!
Don’t cry! The ogre will come and eat you up! The cat will come and take away your kiddy!
What ails you, my pet? I am hungry [you say]? May you burst! You have eaten all this: is it too little?
Go out, dog! Pussy, puss, puss, come here! Hushaby, darling! You are my rose! Hush, hush!
“Mamma! I am ready to die with hunger!”
O dear, Mamma! My life is ready to leave me!”
Don’t cry! The pot is just on the boil!
“O my hand! See, it is as cold as ice!”
Fie, fie, my Soul! See, the breast is dry!
“Why does my head spin so?” [Because} the lice are digging holes in your head!
Akh-kh-kh! What ails you, my Soul?
Haq, haq! O my Aunt! Why are its eyes turned up to the ceiling?
Come here! Alas, see its body also has become cold!
Dust on my head! Why has its color turned so pale?
Woe is me! My child is gone from my hands!
Alas, alas! To me there remain but sighs and grief! Alas, alas!
—Charand Parand, Sur-IIsrafil, 27 Feb 1908
Partly Based on the Manuscript Work of Mírzá Muhammad ʻAlí Khán , Tarbiyat and By: Edward Granville Brown. The Press and Poetry of Modern Persia: Partly Based on the Manuscript Work of Mírzá Muhammad ʻAlí Khán . Page 249-250. London: Cambridge University Press , 1914. Print.
Editor’s Note: The writer of the poem likens the inexperienced constitutionalists of the time who are unable to immediately remedy the sufferings of the Persian people to a new mother incompetent to care for her infant.
The other Translation:
Oh, Bother! The child has woken up!
Go to sleep, pet-the boogeyman’s coming!
Don’t cry, or the ogre will come and eat you up!
The cat will take away your bunny!
Boohoo, boohoo-What is it, sweetie? -I’m hungry!
May you burst! All that food you ate isn’t enough!
Get out, dog! Nice kitty, here, kitty, kitty!
Hushaby, darling, my flower, hush, hush!
Don’t cry; the pot’s just coming to a boil.
But see, my hand is as cold as ice!
Tsk, tsk, pet; my milk is all gone.
Why is my head spinning so?
The lice are digging holes in your scalp.
Akh-kh-kh…Darling, what’s the matter with you?
God help me! Why are his eyes rolled up toward the ceiling?
Oh come and look, his body is cold as well!
Why, oh woe, has he gone so pale?
Oh, woe! My child has slipped away! Alas, alas!
And I am left with only sighs and sorrow.