The Will Of Living Poem by Aboul-Qacem Echebbi

The Will Of Living

When people choose a noble and worthy existence
The Fates will accordingly respond
Gloom of night will lift and vanish
Fetters will break open
He who harbors no passion for life
Its heat dematerializes him, he is forgotten
Woe unto him who looses interest in life
Victorious void will deal him a slap
Thus has the universe told me
Thus has its hidden Spirit intimated
The winds howled in the deep ravines
Above mountain peaks, under the trees
When I aspire to lofty goals
I mount high hopes and discard trepidation
Neither avoiding rugged roads
Nor evading the roaring flames
He who has an aversion to climbing mountains
Will pass his days and nights in ditches and holes
The blood of youth screamed in my heart
Strange winds raged and raved in my chest
Intently I listened to the thunder peel
And harkened to the sounds of wind and rainfall
I asked the Earth
'Mother, do you hate people? ', She replied
I bless ambitious and aspiring souls
Holding dear the ones who brave danger
But condemn those who live, stone-like, behind times
Content with a dull, callous existence
Behold! The universe is alive; it loves life
It despises the dead, great as it may seem
The skies hold no dead birds close to their bosom
Nor do bees sip nectar from lifeless flowers
If not for my soft motherly heart
Graves will loathe admitting corpses into their folds
So, woe unto him who looses interest in life
The curse of victorious void will be upon him
Once on an autumn night
Heavy with sorrow and boredom
I was intoxicated with the stars' glittering light
And lulled sorrow into exhilaration
I asked the night: 'Will Life ever bring back to wilted blossoms
The bloom and freshness of life? '
Neither the lips of darkness muttered
Nor the nymphs of dawn recited their lyrics
The forest whispered gently to me
And spoke in melodious strains
Winter comes befogged with clouds
Bleak with rain, heavy with snow
The charm of tender twigs snuffed out
The beauty of flowers and fruit extinguished
The grace of meek and doleful eventides gone
The appeal of scented meadows no more
Branches wither and fall with their leaves
Blossoms of happy and love-filled life drop too
The winds scatter them in vale and valley
Rushing waters bury them on the way
All lost to sight as a beautiful dream
Momentarily glowing, soon to disappear without a trace
Seeds bearing the essence of a beautiful faded life
Will yet survive
So will the memory of seasons and life's visions
And earthly phantoms that vanished in droves
All from beneath the clouds
From beneath the soil and snow
Will revive and embrace the never boring breath of life
Clasping the green, fragrant heart of Spring
Dreaming of bird songs
Of aromas and savory fruit
Suddenly, in the soft beat of wings
Passion for life triumphantly returned
The earth above the seeds cracked open
And glorious images unexpectedly emerged
Spring made a return with delightful songs
Celebrating its dreams, its balmy youthfulness
Lo, it pressed many kisses upon their lips
Bringing back to life a youth, long gone
It addressed the seeds, murmuring: I have given you life
And shall live in your posterity forevermore
You have been blessed by the light, so receive
The youth of life, the maturity of age
He whose dreams adore the Light
The Light, in turn, will bless him when it shines
Lo, the entire space is yours, and yours is the Light
The dreaming, flower-glittering soil is yours as well
Receive the deathless beauty
Receive the vast shimmering universe
Sway as you please in the meadows
Laden with your sweet fruits and tender flowers
Whisper your gentle love to the breeze and clouds
Hum soulful tunes to the stars and moon
Talk to life with the language of your heart
And commune with the captivating beauty of a unique existence
Darkness, too, revealed a hidden charm
Stirring the imagination, inspiring thoughts
A strange mystic harmony engulfed the universe
Skillfully manipulating it as an ingenious magician
Candles of glittering stars were lit all
The sweet perfume of flowers wafted about
A spirit of strange beauty fluttered by
With wings made of moonbeams bright
The sacred song of life rang out
Within a dreaming, charmed temple
Announcing this truth to the whole universe
Aspiration is the fuel and flame of life
The spirit and stamina of victory
Yea, when souls aspire
For a worthy and noble existence
The Fates will accordingly respond

Translated by: Mahmoud Abbas Masoud
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