You've Grown So Old
by Samad Vurghun (1906-1956 )

Father of writers Yusif and Vagif Samadogl


Fine verse gives rise to joy, it's true,
But poets bow to sorrow, too,
For life in such a way proceeds
That luck our happiness decrees.
Thus everybody wonders why
My head with so much gray is strewn:
"How come you've grown so old so soon?"

A sweet young lady yesterday
Presented me with a bouquet.
She paused and never said a word,
But what she meant could be inferred.
This was the question that I read
In eyes as bright as glowing noon:
"How come you've grown so old so soon?"

In hunting I would take delight
And roam the steppe all day and night,
From mountaintop I would descend
And, arrow swift, through valleys wend.
I'd often aim at antelopes
But every bullet sang this tune:
"How come you've grown so old so soon?"

My lute that has a thousand strings
Now softly or now loudly sings.
But then the fiend who breaks our heart,
Past master of the liar's art,
Will drop in passing the remark
Maliciously inopportune:
"How come you've grown so old so soon!"

My head is graying, but my heart
Glows just as bright as at the start.
Although with gray my head be strewn
I know for sure that, come what may,
My wife and country shall not say:
"How come you've grown so old so soon!"

Translated by Peter Tempest

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