SPEAK, O lake ! why ate thy waters silent ? Wilt thou not lament with luckless me ? Move, ye zephyrs, move the rippling wavelets With this lake my tears shall mingled be.
Tell me, lake, — for thou hast been a witness Of our history from the earliest day, — Shall Armenia, that was once a garden, Always be a thorny desert gray ?
Shall our hapless fatherland forever By a foreign master be down-trod ? Are the Armenians and their sons unworthy, Judged before the righteous throne of God ?
Is a glad day coming, when a banner Shall on Ararat its folds expand, And from every side Armenian pilgrims Hasten to their beauteous fatherland ?
RAFFI (Hagop Melik Hagopian) was born in the village of Phayajouk in Salmast, Persia, in 1835, the son of a prominent merchant. Business reverses forced his father to take him from school and put him to work. In 1858 he traveled through Turkish Armenia, and his soul was stirred by the injustice and oppression suffered by the Armenians. In 1872, when Ardzrouni started in Tiflis his famous paper, "Mushak” (The Workman), Raffi became a regular contributor. Aroused by the terrible events of those days, he wrote for it, as serials, a number of patriotic novels—"The Fool,” "Sheik Jelalleddin” and others—which thrilled the people’s hearts and attained immense popularity. Some were historical novels in the style of Sir Walter Scott. He died in 1888, much regretted.