Close to the dry stars, where the daredevils seek for their Mecca, And where icy winds blow and jagged peaks puncture the sky, There once lived a jubilant-spirited mountain echo, Which used to respond to a cry, desperate human cry. When solitude swells in your throat and cuts off the air, And your lips let out a moan that no one can hear, This shout for help the kind echo will pick up with care, Preserve, amplify and deliver it right to your peers. Were they beasts or men, who that evening cropped out around, And strove to damp down their footfall and odious snort? Intending to silence for good the live canyons, they bound The echo and stopped up its mouth before it was shot. All night long, went on their festivity, brutal and violent, They trampled on the echo till saw it was fatally broken. When rose the sun, they shot down it, exhausted and silent, And from the hurt mountains, tears spurted out like rocks...
© Akbar Muhammad. Translation, 2015
[Adapted from translations by other translators:
Julie Deshtor’s “Mountain Echo”,
Alec Vagapov’s “Execution of Mountain Echo”.]