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Jrebta: Saint Rafca>>

Madrid, wounded tiger

I mourn you, my beloved one, from Lebanon I weep,
From the land of the Cedars and saints;
Nostalgia haunts me, fed by memories I keep;
Motherless, far from the Muses, poetry raises its plaints;
Wicked hands are red with the blood they have spilled,
Defiled by crime, with blood they are drenched,
Dark minds with hatred and fury are filled,
Their passion for murder remains unquenched.
On the Fatherland’s altar the nation entire
Rose up as though borne by a glorious tide
Faithful children whose past heroes inspire
To a courage that is proof of their ancient pride.
Valliant Madrid, pure pearl of Castile, my dear city,
Poem in my heart, with love you were made,
A flame in my heart and my mouth that now pity
You, Flower of Spain, as a star arrayed.
Castile’s wond’rous light, town of deep mystery,
Your wound opens up the floodgates of grief
As we recall your past legends of greatness in history,
And cities that join you in one belief,
Granada, Seville and Barcelona,
Compostella and Pampeluna.
In the years of the ‘sixties I took to heart
Your sons and daughters, each palace and square and street,
Your authors and artists in a civilised world apart
Where the genius of Plato and Saint Paul could meet
In Cervantes, Teresa, Calderon, Azerin Unamuno, Dali, Gomez,
Valdés, Zurbaran, El Greco, Murillo, Ribera, Goya, Falla, Velásquez.
Deep is your wound, Madrid, with pain and sorrow keen;
Fanatics of all confessions, enemies of the world, not only Spain,
Have taken of your water and your bread and breathed your air so clean,
Haunted your schools and hospitals for their gain.
And all their thanks was sowing terror ‘neath the wheels,
With carnage and with murder, for all their work was hate.
Madrid and all of Spain, wherever I go my heart forever feels
Deep love for you, a warmth of feeling that will ne’er abate.
From Lebanon I bow before you filled with admiration
And offer my force, my gifts, my blood to your great nation.

14th March, 2004

South Lebanon Freed!

It needed no more than a single stone
For giant Goliath to be overthrown.

Brave heroes they were who did not falter
To offer themselves on their Fatherland’s altar
For crushing victory gloriously won
So the South could bask in the rays of the sun.
The children of David, once sure of their fame,
For the first time defeated and covered with shame.
On Lebanon’s land on a moonless night,
Boastful legions gave way to the forces of right.
Lebanon raised up whelps of the lion
To teach a lesson to the sons of Zion.
On the slopes of Mount Hermon a triumph they won
To snatch the laurels from those who had come,
Once flaunting their valour in mechanised might,
Now turning homewards to hide their plight.

Now our whole nation raises its voice,
Now all its people together rejoice.

Joseph Matar
All rights reserved © LebanonArt
Translated from the French: K.J.Mortimer


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