Estepan Urkiaga, known as “Lauaxeta”, (Laukiz, August 3, 1905-Vitoria, Alaba, June 25, 1937) was a Basque writer and journalist. He was one of the founders of “Euskaltzaindia” (It is the official academic language regulatory institution which watches over the Basque language) and he participated in The Basque Government in the Civil war. He wrote a lot of poems and he worked in a newspaper called “Euzkadi”. When Gernika was bombed he went there with an English journalist to help him with the language. When he was in Gernika, Francoists arrested him. The Francoists shot him because he was a nationalist. He became famous for all the efforts made for the Basque Country. One of the most famous poems was “Mendigoxaliarena”. It is about some Basque mountaineers who were killed because they were nationalists.


Mendi eze, ikurrin eder,
aske nahi zaitut axian.
Amar gazteren lerdena
makila luzez bidian

Mendi-bitxidor berdiok,
arin or duaz kantari:
"Dana emon biyar yako
maite den askatasunari".

Gaztedi honen didarra
bai dala didar zolija!
Aberri baten samiñez
urduri dabil erija.

sugarra dira basuak.
Sugarra basuak eta
zidar argija itxasuak.

Or duan ozte-aldrea
aberri-miñez kantari!:
"Dana emon biar yako
maite den azkatasunari".

Gazte horreik goruntz duaz
abesti ta ikurriñez.
Lañuan baña tiro hotsak:
bedartza dager odolez.

Ikaraz duaz usuak,
mendija dago ixillean.
Hamar gazteren lerdena
bixitza barik lurrean!

Eta illuntzeko bakian
norbaitek darrai kantari:
"Dana emon biar yako
maite dan azkatasunari"!


Wet Mount, beautiful ikurriña (1),
I want you free in the wind.
The song of ten young
with batons on the road.

Green paths in the hills,
they are so agile, singing:
"You have to give everything
for freedom so dear. "

The cry of these young
Really is
in pain!

For the pain of a homeland

the people are nervous.

For the sweetness of freedom
the woods are ablaze.
The woods on fire
and a sea of ¿¿shining silver.

There the group goes
singing through the pain of a nation:
"You have to give everything
for freedom so dear."

Up go those young
singing with the ikurriña (1).
But the sound of shots in the fog:
The grass is dyed red.

Doves flee from fear,
The hills are silent.
The singing
of ten young
lifeless on the ground!

And in the peace of the evening
someone is singing:
"You have to
give everything
for freedom so dear "!

          (1) Ikurriña is the Basque flag.