The Moon Endureth: Tales and Fancies

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Author: John Buchan

Atta’s Song

(Roughly translated.)

I will sing of thee, Great Sea-Mother, Whose white arms gather Thy sons in the ending: And draw them homeward From far sad marches— Wild lands in the sunset, Bitter shores of the morning— Soothe them and guide them By shining pathways Homeward to thee.

All day I have striven in dark glens With parched throat and dim eyes, Where the red crags choke the stream And dank thickets hide the spear. I have spilled the blood of my foes And their wolves have torn my flanks. I am faint, O Mother, Faint and aweary. I have longed for thy cool winds And thy kind grey eyes And thy lover’s arms.

At the even I came To a land of terrors, Of hot swamps where the feet mired And waters that flowerd red with blood There I strove with thousands, Wild-eyed and lost, As a lion among serpents. —But sudden before me I saw the flash Of the sweet wide waters That wash my homeland And mirror the stars of home. Then sang I for joy, For I knew the Preserver, Thee, the Uniter, The great Sea-Mother. Soon will the sweet light come, And the salt winds and the tides Will bear me home.

Far in the sunrise, Nestled in thy bosom, Lies my own green isle. Thither wilt thou bear me. To where, above the sea-cliffs, Stretch mild meadows, flower-decked, thyme-scented, Crisp with sea breezes. There my flocks feed On sunny uplands, Looking over thy waters To where the mount Saos Raises purl snows to God.

Hermes, guide of souls, I made thee a shrine in my orchard, And round thy olive-wood limbs The maidens twined Spring blossoms- Violet and helichryse And the pale wind flowers. Keep thou watch for me, For I am coming. Tell to my lady And to all my kinsfolk That I who have gone from them Tarry not long, but come swift o’er the sea-path, My feet light with joy, My eyes bright with longing. For little it matters Where a man may fall, If he fall by the sea-shore; The kind waters await him, The white arms are around him, And the wise Mother of Men Will carry him home.

I who sing Wait joyfully on the morning. Ten thousand beset me And their spears ache for my heart. They will crush me and grind me to mire, So that none will know the man that once was me. But at the first light I shall be gone, Singing, flitting, o’er the grey waters, Outward, homeward, To thee, the Preserver, Thee, the Uniter, Mother the Sea.

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Chicago: John Buchan, "Atta’s Song," The Moon Endureth: Tales and Fancies, trans. Evans, Sebastian in The Moon Endureth: Tales and Fancies Original Sources, accessed September 22, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CRJF2186XMACX6U.

MLA: Buchan, John. "Atta’s Song." The Moon Endureth: Tales and Fancies, translted by Evans, Sebastian, in The Moon Endureth: Tales and Fancies, Original Sources. 22 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CRJF2186XMACX6U.

Harvard: Buchan, J, 'Atta’s Song' in The Moon Endureth: Tales and Fancies, trans. . cited in , The Moon Endureth: Tales and Fancies. Original Sources, retrieved 22 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CRJF2186XMACX6U.