Shepherd’s Fountain

Far far away weep rivers,
Far far away weeps the shepherd’s fountain.
O orchards, the sound of water, you know,
What says the shepherd’s spring to the mountain?

“As Ferhat fell in love with Şirin,
He set off towards the horizons,
In his haste dug through mountains,
Thus began to flow the shepherd’s fountain…”

So many trials, it had then,
Marble, it carved; stone, it drilled.
The thirst of so many parched travellers, it quenched,
So many lips, it touched!

To faithless Aslı, it showed the way,
Kerem’s saz, it answered,
It sent tears to dried eyes…
Never seeping away into the ground.

Leyla is married, Mecnun has died,
Mountains no more have thirsty travellers.
Seeking a rose reddened by heat,
The shepherd’s fountain, from orchard to orchard, wanders.

No more poets shed tears, nor lovers weep,
No more are old loves:
The shepherd’s fountain, to left and to right,
Flows in vain, in vain calls out!..

Faruk Nafiz Çamlıbel (1898-1973). Çoban Çeşmesi. Translated from the Turkish.

Şirin and Ferhat, Aslı and Kerem, Leyla and Mecnun are folk tale lovers. Saz is a stringed instrument.

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