To My Mother

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Was it you, mother, with your tearful song,
was it you who cursed me three years' long
to be a luckless, drifting waif
and meet all those my soul most hates?

Have I drunk away my father's cash,
have I torn deep wounds upon your flesh,
that my tender bud of youth, o mother,
in agony should wilt and wither?

To all my friends I seem so gay
for when I am with them we laugh and jest,
but they don't know I pine away
for my youth is nipped by heavy frost.

How should they know? I can't reveal
to a single friend what my soul conceals,
whom I'm in love with or what I believe -
my dreams, my thoughts - or why I grieve.

Except for you - you're all I have,
to you I give my faith and love;
yet, even so, I'm prey to doubt,
for though I love - my heart burns out.

Time and again I've imagined, mother,
that we would find glory and joy together;
I felt so strong - how I aspired -
now dig a grave for my desires.

You, forlorn and alone, remain:
may I yet fall in your open arms,
that my soul of torment, heart of pain,
seek from your wretchedness its calm.

Father, sister, brothers, mine -
I want to embrace you, full of love,
then may the blood freeze in my veins
and let me rot within the grave.

© Hristo Botev