Freedom - Poem by Ndre Mjeda
Tell me, eagles, birds of the highlands,
Do the rays of freedom shine upon those peaks,
In the rugged mountain pastures and clearings
Where springs of fresh water murmur in longing?
Have you heard the echo of its anthem
On your flights o'er the cliffs,
Have you heard its comforting song?
Tell me, eagles, birds of the highlands.
Freedom, freedom, the mountains cry,
But can we find it on the earth we ply,
Or will slavery veil our every step?
Fly, eagle, fly to horizons far away,
The mountains surrounding Albania, survey,
Tell us where freedom takes its source.
Freedom is yours! We have iron bars,
Yet we languish in the mists and sombre night,
No one knows our name, stripped of our country,
We are slaves of the strangers on our own soil.
Like chattel sold to the butcher, we're driven,
Crazed, by his cane where we don't wish to go,
Sighs and lamentation on the lips of our people,
Suffering and grief is the name of our land.
The storm of highland heroes in vain
Infiltrates the sleeping plain
Like a bolt of lightning from the clouds.
Crushed by cruel oppression and travail,
Shake in their tombs to no avail
The forgotten bones of Dukagjini and Scanderbeg the Hero.
But no, the Albanian race has not been stamped out,
Wearied by the beatings of a harsh enemy,
Bowed by the darkness of servitude,
It broods and waits for its sudden awakening.
And behold, the flashing strokes of freedom
Extend through the mountains, in stealth advance
From hut to hut, yes, the shadow of Scanderbeg,
A new spirit expands throughout the land.
The mothers of Hoti tend cradles, childbed,
Where fledgling young heroes are nurtured and fed
On the milk of revolt.
And high in the mountains, splendour regal,
Claws outstretched, the Albanian eagle,
Spreads its formidable wings.
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