«Προσφώνηση προς τους Έλληνες» του Henry Louis Vivian Derozio (ποίημα)

29511862_948097298671919_4455993636968018345_nΟ Henry Louis Vivian Derozio (Καλκούτα, 18 Απριλίου 1809 – Καλκούτα, 26 Δεκεμβρίου 1831) ήταν βεγγαλέζος εκπαιδευτικός και ποιητής πορτογαλικής καταγωγής και ίσως ο πρώτος εθνικιστής ποιητής της σύγχρονης Ινδίας.

Σπούδασε ελληνική φιλοσοφία, δράμα και κλασική λογοτεχνία και επηρεάστηκε από τις ελληνικές αξίες της ελευθερίας και της δικαιοσύνης που άφησαν έντονο αντίκτυπο στην ποίησή του. Η συναισθηματική του σχέση μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Ινδίας έχει ιδιαίτερη θέση στο έργο του, καθώς και οι δύο χώρες αγωνιζόταν ταυτόχρονα για την ανεξαρτησία τους.

Ο Derozio έγραψε μια σειρά από ποιήματα αφιερωμένα στην αρχαία Ελλάδα, όπως «Θερμοπύλες», «Ελλάδα», «Οι Έλληνες στον Μαραθώνα», «Σαπφώ» και άλλα. Το ποίημά του «Προσφώνηση προς τους Έλληνες» (Address to the Greeks)  γράφτηκε τον Ιανουάριο του 1826, όταν ο εθνικός αγώνας για την ανεξαρτησία από τον Οθωμανικό ζυγό ήταν στο αποκορύφωμά του.


ADDRESS TO THE GREEKS

I

STRIKE, strike, as your fathers of old would have done;

Unite, and the field with your liberty’s won:

O! shrink not to meet the high Moslem’s jurreed,*

The flash of his sabre, the tramp of his steed.

II

Achaian! rouse, rouse thee, the larum has peal’d;

To arms! or thy fate and thy country’s are seal’d;

One blow — ’tis for all that is dear to thy heart —

And wilt thou not strike it, but lettered depart ?

Ill

O! say, shall the Moslem in victory’s car,

Pass proudly?— Ye mountains! your floodgates unbar—

His rest be, old Ocean! beneath thy wild wave,

And gore from his heart shall empurple his grave.

IV

Bold Theban! thy foeman his bosom has bared.

To war thou art welcomed — nay more — thou art dared.

Refuse not the summons — ^go forth to the strife.

And shout in the battle, ‘War! War! to the knife!’

V

O Greece! is the day of thy glory gone by?

When ‘Freedom’ the watchword was— ‘Death’ the reply—

When said the high matron, ‘ Yon field must be won;

Return with thy shield, or upon it, my son! ’

VI

Is Sparta forgot — are her children no more?

Those hearts that were heroes in ages of yore- –

Or if they’re remembered, is’t but as a namc?

No! No! — they are beacons to light you to fame.

VII

What banner is waving so wide on your tower?

What gonfalon’s streaming despite of your power?

O shame! ’tis the crescent that flashes so fair —

Down, down with it, Grecians! and plant your own there —

VIII

Bring out from the Haram the Mussulman’s slave,

The bride that he bought with a heart she ne’er gave;

She’ll bless you for breaking the chain that enthrals

Her life of lone sadness in pleasureless halls.

IX

The Osmanlie’s daughter may shed o’er the bier

Of him she call’d ‘Father’ a soft single tear!

Yet joy shall soon flash from her dark gazelle eyes,

Because with her sire her captivity dies.

X

But heed her not yet — be your daring deed done —

The fight must be fought, and the field must be won;

Till then your frown dark on her beauty shall be,

Like the prow of the Corsair on Coron’s bright sea.

XI

Arise ! quench your watchfires— no longer delay —

Your swords should be naked — their sheaths cast away:

The ground that ye tread, by your fathers was trod;

Their blood shed for freedom has hallowed the sod.

XII

Beam, islands of Graecia! Beam, Hella’s blue tide,

With smiles that ye wore in the day of your pride;

The souls that ye bear shall be glorious and free.

As bright as your skies, and as pure as your sea!

* Javelin

Ευχαριστούμε τον Priyadarshi Dutta που παρείχε την πηγή.

Full text of «Poems of Henry Louis Vivian Derozio» – Internet Archive