by George El-Hage

[Note: This is a translation from the Arabic, which is available in pdf by clicking here.]

Stand up! Get up!

Carry your bed and follow me.

Let’s leave this ungrateful land

This land…

That savors the decaying cadavers of its sons

A land satiated by the blood of its children.

Let’s leave these poor people

Defeated, fragmented

Knowing nothing but selfishness,

Servicing foreigners,

And worshipping the hollow love of prestige.

What is left for us

In these destroyed cities

Where no peace remains

And doors are unbolted only to conquerors,

To bats… to others?

To hunters preying,

over the hills of the East, North, and South,

for chances to lash our cities,

To empty them of their national commitment

And annex them to their own waste lands,

Transforming fecundity to infertility

And civility to wilderness.

O my country!

They all killed you

And got drunk over your pure blood

Your people… your very own

Prefer the souls of others

Over the freshness of your bright face.

They brag with others’ daggers

Slaying the throats of their kin;

Draw the aliens’ whips

Inflaming the backs of their brothers;

Welcome shame stepping on the pride of your cedars

Blackening the whiteness of your hands…

All of them, my country, crucified you

And cast lots over your garment.

They all left you alone

In the olive orchard

And delivered you to the mercenary soldiers

Your wailing fell on their deaf ears.

While you were giving the farewell discourse

And giving up your spirit,

They busied themselves analyzing the gender of the angels

No one wiped your bloody forehead

They all pierced your side with a spear

And left you in the battles of Badr and Uhud

To please their foreign masters

And fill their pockets with silver,

Price of their treason…

They all betrayed you with a kiss,

Gave you to the Pharisees

And stood with them in the court of Caesar

Shouting out: “crucify him… crucify him…

His blood be upon us and on our children.. Crucify him.”

They all called for the release of Barabas,

For the life of Yazeed;

They asked the throne of Chosroes for help,

The armies of the Tatar,

The soldiers of Hulaga

And accused your own army of betrayal

Of impotence, of conspiracy…

Because it asked for your love… you my country..

How will they escape the judgment of history,

The hour of truth?

Where will they hide their faces

On resurrection day?

My country, crucified

On the crossroads of history

Because your only guilt was your truthfulness

Because you said openly:

“Only God in my garment”…

“All of you are merchants

In the temple of nationalism”.

My Lebanon, you struck them with your voice,

With your whip you lashed their contaminated throats

You, the believer in the one God

And they, the worshippers of idols

And Satan.

They pierced you with the spear of betrayal

They all pierced you

Even Brutus, along with them

And they washed their hands with Pilate

With foreigners and conspirers

They walked in your funeral

Carried your casket

And cried crocodile tears

And then..

My country

What is left for us in this land,

You and I?

I, the ever-straying

And you the stranger in your own land and nation..

Your sea is not your sea

Nor the cedars your cedars

Nor the mountains are yours

Come and sail with me.

No care where,

Nostalgia at home

Is more haunting than nostalgia in exile.

They do not deserve you as a country

As long as they are tribes

Tearing each other

Attacking their own if they find no other to attack.

They will not wear the clock of the prophet

As they are happy in their complete ignorance

And they will not savor the manna

As long as they still savor

The bitter dates of ancient times.


Translated from the original Arabic by May Ahmar.
Click here to download a pdf of the Arabic.