This blog and poem translation about the struggle of migrants in a globalized world was originally posted on Healing Wanderer’s blog Family Hurts LCC: Love, Lament, and Critique. You can read the original post here. “For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.” This poem says it all – about the hurt all immigrants suffer in this unwelcoming world. The poem was written approximately 150 years ago by one of the greatest poets of my homeland, who addressed the timeless message to his own son. Below I post a translation of the poem, this time dedicated to all children who are suffering and who will suffer such fate in the near future of our globalized world. The accelerating globalization process is the ultimate manifestation of a social-economical system operating solely on Darwinian principles: unregulated, cruel, merciless, cynical, amoral, immoral, indifferent, selfish. The outcome is a rapidly shrinking macro-economical cycle progressively forcing out the potential and actual players of economy, while pushing the process towards a macro-economical equilibrium to be achieved on a global level. In response to this process, and in attempt to stay alive, an increasing number will be forced onto the path of the migrants, thus to live and work on foreign lands. The citizens of the highly developed countries will not be an exception either. We will all be treated as “intruders, strangers, invaders, aliens, second class citizens, the ultimate scapegoats for all maladies of the globalization”, unless we start thinking and acting differently in the present. If we start treating all immigrants, refugees, aliens as if they were our own children, then the future generations of migrants will find a welcoming and accepting home wherever they will have to settle down. Otherwise the only hope for them will remain the prospect of death and a happier “homeland” beyond this world.
To my son Thank God, the night is here again: One day less of the earthly pain. Inside a lonely candle burning, Outside the darkness lurking, Why, my son, are you still awake? Your bed is made so warm and mild. Just put your little hands together, And pray, just pray, my little child. I am but a poor poet, you see, Leaving behind a humble legacy. A flawless name is my sole credit, In the eyes of many a vile merit. Hence, I’m nurturing the faith In the garden of your spotless heart. So put your little hands together, And pray, just pray, my little child. Faith is the treasure of the poor, The one reason to hope, to endure. Till the grave breathes upon us, To keep the faith until the end. If only my faith would be the same Balm of comfort it used to be inside! So put your little hands together, And pray, just pray, my little child. When first among your playmates You’ll be sent to be enslaved, On alien lands to work, to groan, Yearning to be loved like their own, Then only faith will heal the wound That your tears silently hide. So put your little hands together, And pray, just pray, my little child. When you see and feel the hurt Of the shoulder carrying the truth, Mind and honour crushed by the herd While crime is giving envy birth And the cruel finds heaven on earth, Faith is the scale on your side. So put your little hands together, And pray, just pray, my little child. When growing up you come to understand You have no home on your fathers’ land, And the space between your cradle and the grave Has been the border for centuries to save, Then find comfort in the holy word: “We’re all nomads and refugees on earth” (*) So put your little hands together, And pray, just pray, my little child. Hope for a worthy home to find, Where virtue will triumph in the end, Lest your fate in this world of the sword Would make you rise against the Lord. Walk with joy in your heaven’s dreams, Take this kiss for the grand voyage: Put your little hands together, And pray, just pray, my little child.(translated by healing wanderer) (*) Reference to the below passages from the New Testament:
- These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hbr 11:13-16)