let it play with your hair, this gentle breeze blowing from the seven seas. if only you knew how lovely you are the way you gaze at the edge of the night steeped in the grief of exile and longing, in sorrow.
neither you nor i nor the dusk that gathers in your beauty nor the blue sea. that safe harbour for the distress that assaults the brain- we spurn the generation which knows nothing of the soul's pain.
mankind today brands you merely a fresh slender woman and me just an old fool. that wretched appetite, that filthy sight can find no meaning in you or me nor a tender grief in the night nor the sullen tremor of secrecy and disdain on the calm sea.
you and i and the sea and the night that seems to gather silently, without trembling, the fragrance of your soul, far away torn asunder from the land where blue shadows hold sway, we are forever doomed to this exile here.
that land? stretches along the chaste regions of imagination, and a blue nightfall reposes there for all; at its outer edges, the sea pours the calm of sleep on each soul...
there, women are lovely, tender, nocturnal, pure. over their eyes your sadness hovers, they are all sisters or lovers: the tearful kisses on their lips can cure, and the indigo quiet of their inquiring eyes can soothe the heart's suffering. their souls are violets distilled from the night of despair, in a ceaseless search for silence and repose. the dim glare from the moon's sorrows finds haven in their immaculate hands.
ah, they are so frail- the mute anguish they share, the night deep in thought, the ailing sea ... they all resemble each other there.
that land is on which imaginary continent, and dimmed by what distant river? is it a land of illusions- or real, a utopia bound to remain unknown forever?
i do not know ... all I know is you and i and the blue sea and the dusk that vibrates in me the strings of inspiration and agony, far away torn asunder from the land where blue shadows hold sway we are forever doomed to this exile here.
ahmet hasim (1884-1933) translated by talat sait halman