Weeping Willow

by Nazim Hikmet

Revolution #008, July 17, 2005, posted at revcom.us

The water flowed,
it showed
willow trees in its mirror,
weeping willows washing their hair in the stream.
Red riders raced towards the sinking sun,
their flaming swords drawn to strike the willows.
like a bird
               in the wing
a wounded horseman tumbled from his horse.
He did not shout,
Or call after those who passed,
he just looked with brimming eyes
          at the flashing hooves of the riders receding.

          alas that he
will never lie again on the foaming necks of his galloping horses,
or brandish his sword chasing after the white armies!

Gradually hoofbeats die away,
the riders are lost in the sunset.

Horsemen, horsemen, red riders,
horses wind winged
horses wind wing.
horses wind.

Life passed like the wind winged horsemen.
The sound of the running water stopped.
Shadows grew denser
                       colors were wiped away.
Black blinds came down,
                       on his blue eyes,
the weeping willows leant
                       over his fair hair.

Don’t weep weeping willow,
                       don’t weep,
in the dark mirror of water, don’t fold your hands,
                       don’t fold your hands,
                                 don’t weep.