Aischa was mine, My tender cousin, My blond lover; And you knew our love, Uncle without bowels, Foul old man. For a few weights of gold You sold her to the blacks, And they will drive a stinking trade At the dark market; Your slender daughter, The free child of our hills. She will go to serve the bed Of a fat man with no god, A guts that cannot walk, A belly hiding his own feet, A rolling paunch Between itself and love. She was slim and quick Like the antelope of our hills When he comes down in the summertime To bathe in the pools of Terek, Her stainless flesh Was all moonlight. Her long silk hair Was of so fine a gold And of so honey-like a brown That bees flew there, And her red lips Were flowers in sunlight. She was fair, alas, she was fair, So that her beauty goes To a garden of dying flowers, Made one with the girls that mourn And wither for light and love Behind the harem bars. And you have dirty dreams That she will be Sultane, And you will drink and boast And roll about, The grinning ancestor Of little kings. Hugging your very wicked gold Within a greasy belt, You paddle exulting like a bald ape That glories to defile, Unmindful of two hot young streams Of tears. You stole this dirty gold, For this gold means Your daughter's freedom And your nephew's love, Two fresh and lovely things Groaning within your belt. The sunny playing of our childhood At the green foot of Elbrus, The starry playing of our youth Beyond the flowery fences, These sigh their lost delights Within your belt. Give me the gold; Damn you, give me the gold. … You kill my mercy When you kill my love. … Hold up your trembling sword; For this is death. I take the belt from the dead loins That put away my love, And turn my sweet white horse After the caravan. … With dirty gold and clean steel I'll set Aischa free. Ballad of the Caucases