We Want Land! [author: George Cosbuc; Translation: Octavian Cocos] Poem by Octavian Cocos

We Want Land! [author: George Cosbuc; Translation: Octavian Cocos]

Without a shelter, hungry, blue,
You put a burden on my back
And spat me and enchained my neck,
I was a dog for you.
Upstart boyar, maybe you planned
To satisfy the hell's demand
To be your dogs, we are in chains,
Suffer the burdens and the pains
And pull the yoke, obey the reins,
But we want land!

A loaf of bread from yesterday
If see we have, you want it bad,
You send to war our dearest lad
And take the girls away.
You curse what's holy, you command,
What's mercy you can't understand!
And our children starve to death
We pity them and lose our breath,
But we could get a little strength
If we had land.

Even the graveyard you reclaim,
You make it field, we pull the plow,
And all the bones are scattered now,
An awful shame!
These are our bones, we can't withstand
For you don't seem to understand
You take us out when the wind raves,
You pull the dead from the deep graves,
Oh, for their sake our heart now craves
A plot of land!

We wish to have, like any guy,
A tomb where bones will stay all piled
To know that they won't be defiled
The day we die.
For our children there will stand
Shedding their tears on the gray sand,
Not knowing where our body lies,
They'll look around, they'll strain their eyes;
As Christians, each of us now cries
We want some land!

To pray, we don't have time a lot,
For our lives belong to you,
We have a soul that's good and true,
Which you forgot!
You made a vow raising your hand
Not to allow us to withstand;
To beat us when we cry and wail
And if we run, throw us in jail,
Shot us with bullets if assail
To grab some land.

Into the ground, you know it's true,
You have your wheat. We have our tears
And mothers, sisters, brothers, dears,
Away with you!
This land is holy, understand,
It's our cradle, tomb at hand;
We've guarded it with our blood
And very often, like a flood,
Our tears have flown over the mud,
So we want land!

We have no strength, we've lost our words,
But we don't want to beg again,
Yet, you keep causing us much pain
Cruel fleeting lords!
May God be gracious when we crave
Your blood, to spill it like a wave!
When we don't want to stand aside
When hunger leaves us with no pride
Christs if you were, you could then hide
Nor in the grave!

George Cosbuc is a Romanian poet
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