Dove of Mourning (مرغ سحر‎)

This song (مرغ سحر‎) is a Persian song about oppression. It was written in the early twentieth century by Morteza Neidavoud and Mohammad-Taqi Bahar. Its title is usually translated as “Dawn Bird” but I have titled my translation “Dove of Mourning” for two reasons. First, the mourning dove is a commonly known bird in the United States, and second, the mourning dove makes a mournful weeping sound, which coincides with the theme of the song. My translation is a free, rhyming translation, but it seeks to maintain the tone of the original song. To read more background on the song and to read a literal translation, visit the Encyclopedia Iranica. To hear the song of the mourning dove, view this YouTube video.


مرغ سحر Dove of Mourning
مرغ سحر ناله سرکن داغ مرا تازه تر کن Grieve, O dove of mourning, Make me burn this morning
ز آه شرربار این قفس را بَرشِکَنُ و زیر و زِبَر کن With sparks of bitter rage, Overturn this cage
بلبل پَر بسته ز کنج قفس درآ نغمهٔ آزادی نوع بشر سُرا Clipped-wing bird, arise, Sing freedom to the skies
وَز نفسی عرصهٔ این خاک توده را پرشرر کن Breathe out a firebrand, Inflame this crowded land
ظلم ظالم، جور صیاد آشیانم داده بر باد The hunter has oppressed, And blown away my nest
ای خدا، ای فلک، ای طبیعت شام تاریک ما را سحر کن O God and nature, stay, Turn night into the day
نوبهار است، گل به بار است ابر چشمم، ژاله‌بار است The springtime has begun, But I am all undone
این قفس چون دلم، تنگ و تار است I will not be consoled, My heart and cage are cold
شعله فکن در قفس ای آه آتشین O my ardent sigh, Make the fire high
دست طبیعت گل عمر مرا مچین O nature, stay your hand, Don’t take me from this land
جانب عاشق نِگَه‌ای تازه گل از این، بیشتر کن O rose, look at your lover, Look and rediscover
مرغ بی دل شرح هجران مختصر، مختصر کن O dove, now please curtail, This separation tale
عمر حقیقت به سر شد عهد و وفا پی‌سپر شد Truth is a casualty, War destroyed loyalty
نالهٔ عاشق، ناز معشوق هر دو دروغ و بی‌اثر شد The lover’s fervent sigh, Has now become a lie
راستی و مهر و محبت فسانه شد قول و شرافت همگی از میانه شد Truth and care have gone, Oaths have been withdrawn
از پی دزدی وطن و دین بهانه شد دیده تر شد Religion is used for gain, My tears fall down like rain
ظلم مالک، جور ارباب زارع از غم گشته بی‌تاب The landlord causes harm, To workers on the farm
ساغر اغنیا پر می ناب جام ما پر ز خون جگر شد The rich drink pure champagnes, We drink blood from our veins
ای دل تنگ ناله سر کن از قویدستان حذر کن Worried heart, cry out loud, Avoid the strong and proud
از مساوات صرفنظر کن Don’t rely on justice
ساقی گلچهره بده آب آتشین Rosy-cheeked cupbearer, You’re the wine preparer
پردهٔ دلکش بزن، ای یار دلنشین Just play a happy song, O friend, I’ll sing along
ناله برآر از قفس، ای بلبل حزین O sad dove of mourning, Sigh with me this morning
کز غم تو، سینهٔ من پرشرر شد کز غم تو سینهٔ من پرشرر، پرشرر، پرشرر شد From your aching pain, Sparks fill up my brain

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