All ’round us sand. A chain of barracks,
Surrounded on all sides by barbed wire.
We’re just like beetles delving in our dunghills.
This is our lodging. This is where we’re mired.
An alien sun arises o’er the hilltops,
I wonder why it always looks so grim?
It doesn’t warm, its beams do not caress us,
It’s just a blotch of lifeless pale chagrin...
From off the field that stretches to the forest
The sound of mowing every morn is heard.
But yesterday there flew into our prison
To sing for us a kindly little bird.
My dear one, you have picked the wrong enclosure,
It’s dangerous to come to sing in here.
You’ve seen yourself - the heartache and the bloodshed...
This camp’s a vale of hopelessness and tears.
Oh welcome wanderer, do answer quickly:
When will you soar again into the blue
To wing your way unhampered to my country?
I have a favour to request of you.
In my unvanquished soul this last entreaty
Has lived in hope for many, mans days.
My fleet-winged friend! Go, speed you to my country,
To its vast fields the poet’s song convey!
My people will immediately know you
By your sonorous voice and spear-shaped wings.
And they will say: ’Tis tidings of the poet
From distant parts the feathered songstress brings.
Our deadly foes have put him into shackles,
But nothing that they did could break his will.
Though in captivity, the poet’s message,
No force can manacle, no force can kill...
The free-born poem of the captive poet,
You, my winged one, hasten to our home.
And though in foreign country I should perish
My song will live undying ’mongst my own!