Following is the English version of the poem by Mehari Weldu that appeared in Eritrean Weekly News No. 12; 16, November, 1942. It was translated by the late Professor Edward Ullendorff in collaboration with Dr. Abraham Demoz. I will dispatch the Tigrigna version for all to read.
May Your Offering Be Accepted
Our dear newspaper, our first light; how do you do?
However much they may love you
However much they may desire you;
Even if everyone buys you,
Even if they take you everywhere;
Even if they regard you like light
And wave you about in every assembly;
And hoist you like a flag,
Humbly counsel your people.
Speak to them from your heart, I beg you,
They will not fine you, will they?
You are free to speak- it is your duty.
Advise and counsel them, I beg you.
Even if some make you dirty and tear you up,
And treat you with negligence,
Please don't get angry,
They are your dignity and your ornament,
Unto them is your message.
But while they support you with prayer,
You shall be of use to your people.
Through you we hear the news of the whole world,
Even books you have downgraded.
You dispense much peace, much knowledge,
Where have you been heretofore?
You were a stranger to your people
With your fine letters and the language of the forefathers.
What is it that, thanks to you, cannot be done?
You who brings good tidings in the wilderness.
Don't let your people remain like unploughed land,
Let your message reach them !
Ullendorff, Edward (1977). Is Biblical Hebrew A Language?
Studies In Semitic Languages and Civilizations.
Received on Thu Jul 05 2012 - 00:39:12 EDT