Friday, February 15, 2008

By Vaso Pasha


Oh, poor Albania, bruised from lashes,
Who dared push your face into the ashes?
Hailed once as a woman of noble birth,
Mother you were called by men of this Earth.
Rich you were, to tell the truth.
With lovely girls and handsome youth,
With cattle, gardens and farms
With Latin rifles and other arms
With men of courage and women of cheer
In all the world you had no peer.

When guns boomed like the crack of thunder
Albania’s men rushed out of yonder,
And always fought well, till the end came,
And never soiled their name with shame.
When men of Albania pledged to fight,
All of Rumelia shivered with fright,
In fierce battles they fought and died,
With honor their memory inscribed.

But now, Albania, you’re a sight of woe
Like an oak tree brought down low!
All step on you as if you were dead,
And not one kind word to you is said.
Once you dressed well, like a woman high-born,
Today, your fine robes are badly torn,
You’ve lost your name, your faith, too,
And none is to blame for it but you.

Albanians, you are slaying one another,
Some shout for country, some against sin,
One says I’m Turk, another Latin,
Others Greeks or Slavs profess to be,
Fools! You are brothers, can’t you see?

Priests and mullahs have made you mute
To keep you split and destitute.
Foreigners sit by your fireplace,
Your wives and sisters they disgrace,
And if money comes knocking on your door
The faith of your father you ignore,
You become slaves of alien boors,
Whose race and tongue differ from yours.

Weep, oh, your rifles, and you who care,
Albanians, like birds, are caught in a snare,
Weep with us, you warriors all around,
For Mother Albania, lying on the ground;
She has no bread or meat to eat,
Nor fire in the hearth, not light or heat,
Pale of cheek and unrespected,
She lies broken and neglected!
Gather you women, so pretty and spry,
Who know so well to weep and cry.
For she’s shorn of honor and forlorn,
She’s like a widow whose man is gone,
She’s like a mother without a son!

Who has the heart to let cruel death,
Take this brave woman, panting for breath?
Can we allow aliens to smother
And trample on our cherished Mother?
No, no! Such shame no one can bear,
Such vile conduct all men forswear!
Let warriors die carrying the banner
Before Albania is lost in this manner.

Awake, Albania, it’s time to rise
And bind yourselves with brotherly ties;
Look not to church or mosque for pietism,
The faith of Albanians is Albanians!

From Tivar all the way to Preveze
The sun sends down its light and rays;
It’s our land, the land of our ancestors,
To the death we’ll defend it from predators.
Better to die for it like the men of old,
Than in shame before the Lord!

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