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Yahya Kemal Beyatlı

(1884-1958)

Silent Ship

If there comes a time to raise anchor from time, one day more,

A ship will set out from this harbor toward an unknown shore.

It makes way silently, as though it held no living soul;

At that unrocking parting no hand waves as the lines unroll.

Those watching from the wharf are all aching from this journey;

Their eyes sting from holding the black horizon so firmly.

Wretched hearts! What last ship leaving from the homeland is this?

And what deep mourning for a life spent in exile is this?

The loved and the loving will wait in vain in the world here;

They do not know the beloved will never reappear

Each of the many who are going are happy they could spend

A number of years here; the passengers never descend.

(Translated by Roger Finch, 101Poems by 101Poets An Anthology of Turkish Poetry)