Archive for ‘Religious’

Saturday, 24 June 2017

I Am He Whom I Love by Mansur al-Hallaj

I am He whom I love,
and He whom I love is I:
We are two spirits
dwelling in one body.
If thou seest me,
thou seest Him,
And if thou seest Him,
thou seest us both

From: https://allpoetry.com/Mansur-Al-Hallaj

Date: 9th century (original in Arabic); 1914 (translation in English)

By: Mansur al-Hallaj (c858-922)

Translated by: Reynold Alleyne Nicholson (1868-1945)

Monday, 12 June 2017

The High Immortal Gods are Free by Bacchylides

The high immortal gods are free
From taint of man’s infirmity;
Nor pale diseases round them wait,
Nor pain distracts their tranquil state.

From: Merivale, John Herman, Poems, Original and Translated, Volume 1, 1838, William Pickering: London, p. 238.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=lsZJAAAAIAAJ)

Date: 5th century BCE (original in Greek); 1813 (translation in English)

By: Bacchylides (5th century BCE)

Translated by: John Herman Merivale (1779-1844)

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

An Other Saying Concerning the Same by Katherine Dowe

To rise betimes, thy selfe to recreate
To looke well to thine owne, & to kéepe a sober estate
Long ere thou eatest, and not to sup late,
To lie high with thy head, and to sléepe moderate
Maketh man rich, long life and fortunate.

From: Tasso, Torquato, The housholders philosophie VVherein is perfectly and profitably described, the true oeconomia and forme of housekeeping. With a table added thereunto of all the notable thinges therein contained. First written in Italian by that excellent orator and poet Signior Torquato Tasso, and now translated by T.K. Whereunto is anexed a dairie booke for all good huswiues, 2003, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford, p. [unnumbered].
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A13392.0001.001)

Date: 1588

By: Katherine Dowe (fl. 1588)

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Lady of Cats by Christie L. Ward

Greater than goodness, those granted glory
of beauty beyond mere fairness of form.
So shall I speak of she like the moonlight —
as pale as the ash, as pale as the moon.
Ship-giver is she, a deep minded seeress,
the Lady of Cats, her hair gold as corn.
The poppy is placed by her feet, pure flowers,
But bested by far its beauty by hers.
On fist the falcon, fair as the frost is,
Ice by a diamond, its beauty is dimmed.
Hers is the herb-craft, knows her hands healing.
Swift fly her fingers on bronze strings’ bright songs:
High over harpstrings sounds out her singing.
Fair are all these, still she is more fair.

From: http://alliteration.net/poetry/cat.htm

Date: 1984

By: Christie L. Ward (1960- )

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Lines 1-40 from “Merlin” by Robert de Boron with approximate translation into modern English by flusteredduck

Now gyneth the devel to wraththen him sore
(as aftir scholen ȝe herkene & here wel more),
whanne that oure lord to helle wente,
and took owt Adam with good entente,
and also Eve, and ek others mo,
þat with him he likede forto han tho.
and whanne þe develis behelden this,
moche drede and merveille they hadden, i-wis.
So, as aftyrward longe be-felle,
to-gederis they conseilled, the develis, ful snelle,
and token hem to-gederis in parlement,
the maister-develis, be on assent,
and seiden: “what mester man is he, this,
that doth us here al this distress?
we mown not aȝens him maken defens,
whanne he is owht in owre presens,
and bynemeth us that we scholde have,
and for hym non thing mowen we kepen save.
For we supposede, ful verrayly,
that non man scholde he bom of wommans body,
that alle owre they weren be ryht,
but he hem benemeth us be his myht.
Sey, how was this ȝoman bore,
be whom owre ryht is thus forlore?”
thanne answerede anothir devel,
and, as him thowhte, he answerede wel:
“we haven herd, sein be prophecye
that God in Erthe here scholde dye
Forto saven the Synneris here,
that of Adam and Eve come in fere.
Anon wenten we thanne hem to prove,
and evere weren they stedfast jn goddis love,
and the more turment we diden hem do,
Evere the ferthere they weren us fro,
So that evere in here moste peyne
To hem aperede he, in certeygne,
and hem comforted so wondirly wel,
that owre tormentes greved hem nevere a del,
and evere in here moste distresse
he hem deliverede to Sikirnesse.”

Lines 1-40 from “Merlin”

Now began the devil to be sore wrathful
(as after you should listen and hear well more),
when that our lord to hell went,
and took out Adam with good intent,
and also Eve, and many similar others,
that he liked to struggle with,
and when the devils beheld this,
much dread and terror they had, I assume.
So, as afterward long befell,
together they counselled, the devils, full eagerly,
and arranged them together in parliament,
the master devils, by agreement,
and said: “what kind of man is he, this,
that causes us all here such distress?
we are unable to overcome him despite our defences,
when he is ever in our presences,
and takes away from us that we should have,
and no strike we deliver or anything we do overcomes him.
For we supposed, full truly,
that no man born of woman’s body,
that were not over us all by right,
but he overcame us by his might.
Say, how is this human born,
by whom our right is thus forfeited?”
then answered another devil,
and, as he thought, answered well:
“have not we heard, and has since be prophesised
that God on Earth should die
For to save the sinners here,
that since Adam and Eve come in fear.
Again and again they came here to be punished.
and even if they were steadfast in god’s love,
and the more we tormented them,
Ever the further they resisted us.
So that ever here in the most pain,
To them appeared he, in certainty,
and them comforted so wonderfully well,
that our torments grieved them never a deal,
and ever in here most distress,
he them delivered to tranquillity.”

From: Lovelich, Henry and Kock, Dr. Ernst A. (ed.), Merlin, A Middle-English Metrical Version of a French Romance, by Henry Lovelich, Skinner and Citizen of London (ab. 1450 A.D.), Part 1, 1904, Early English Text Society: London, pp.
(https://archive.org/details/merlinamiddleen00lovegoog)

Date: 12th century (original in French); 15th century (translation in English)

By: Robert de Boron (late 12th-early 13th century)

Translated by: Henry Lovelich (15th century)

Friday, 28 April 2017

Almsgiving by Unknown

That disciple is blest whose spirit burns
with generosity, renovating the inner room
of her heart. The world rejoices at her worthiness
and the Lord glories in the welcome glow of her light.

Jesus ben Sirach says a surging
flame will be snuffed, raging fires
put down with welling water—no longer
able to damage dwellings with burning—
when that disciple douses sin, healing souls
with the gracious gift of her alms.

From: https://sites.nd.edu/manuscript-studies/2015/04/30/almsgiving/

Date: c970 (original in Anglo-Saxon); 2014 (translation in English)

By: Unknown

Translated by: Jacob Riyeff (19??- )

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Gathering from “The Triumph of Infidelity” by Timothy Dwight IV

And now the morn arose; when o’er the plain
Gather’d, from every side, a numerous train;
To quell those fears, that rankled still within,
And gain new strength, and confidence, to sin.
There the half putrid Epicure was seen,
His cheeks of port, and lips with turtle green,
Who hop’d a long eternity was given,
To spread good tables, in some eating heaven.
The leacher there his lurid visage shew’d,
The imp of darkness, and the foe of good;
Who fled his lovely wife’s most pure embrace,
To sate on hags, and breed a mongrel race;
A high-fed horse, for others wives who neigh’d;
A cur, who prowl’d around each quiet bed;
A snake, far spreading his impoison’d breath,
And charming innocence to guilt, and death.
Here stood Hypocrisy, in sober brown,
His sabbath face all sorrow’d with a frown.
A dismal tale he told of dismal times,
And this sad world brimful of saddest crimes,
Furrow’d his cheeks with tears for others sin,
But clos’d his eyelids on the hell within.

There smil’d the smooth Divine, unus’d to wound
The sinners heart, with hell’s alarming sound.
No terrors on his gentle tongue attend;
No grating truths the nicest ear offend.
That strange new-birth, that methodistic grace,
Nor in his heart, nor sermons, found a place.
Plato’s fine tales he clumsily retold,
Trite, fireside, moral seasaws, dull as old;
His Christ, and bible, plac’d at good remove,
Guilt hell-deserving, and forgiving love.
‘Twas best, he said, mankind should cease to sin;
Good fame requir’d it; so did peace within:
Their honours, well he knew, would ne’er be driven;
But hop’d they still would please to go to heaven.
Each week, he paid his visitation dues;
Coax’d, jested, laugh’d; rehears’d the private news;
But hoped they still would please to go to heaven.
Smoak’d with each goody, thought her cheese excell’d;
Her pipe he lighted, and her baby held.
Or plac’d in some great town, with lacquer’d shoes,
Trim wig, and trimmer gown, and glistening hose,
He bow’d, talk’d politics, learn’d manners mild;
Most meekly questioned, and most smoothly smil’d;
At rich mens jests laugh’d loud their stories prais’d;
Their wives new patterns gaz’d, and gaz’d and gaz’d;
Most daintily on pamper’d turkies din’d;
Nor shrunk with fasting, nor with study pin’d:
Yet from their churches saw his brethren driven,
Who thunder’d truth, and spoke the voice of heaven,
Chill’d trembling guilt, in Satan’s headlong path;
Charm’d the feet back, and rous’d the ear of death.
“Let fools,” he cried, “starve on, while prudent I
Snug in my nest shall live, and snug shall die.

There stood the infidel of modern breed,
Blest vegetation of infernal seed,
Alike no Deist, and no Christian, he;
But from all principle, all virtue, free.
To him all things the same, as good or evil;
Jehovah, Jove, the Lama, or the Devil;
Mohammed’s braying, or Isaiah’s lays;
The Indian’s powaws, or the Christian’s praise,
With him all natural desires are good;
His thirst for stews; the Mohawk’s thirst for blood:
Made, not to know, or love, the all beauteous mind;
Or wing thro’ heaven his path to bliss resin’d:
But his dear self, choice Dagon! to adore;
To dress, to game, to swear, to drink, to whore;
To race his steeds; or cheat, when others run;
Pit tortur’d cocks, and swear ’tis glorious fun:
His soul not cloath’d with attributes divine;
But a nice watch-spring to that grand machine,
That work more nice than Rittenhouse can plan,
The body; man’s chief part; himself, the man;
Man, that illustrious brute of noblest shape,
A swine unbristled, and an untail’d ape:
To couple, eat, and die—his glorious doom—
The oyster’s church-yard, and the capon’s tomb.

From: Dwight, Timothy, The Triumph of Infidelity: A Poem, 2007, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan, pp. 29-32.
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/N16405.0001.001)

Date: 1788

By: Timothy Dwight IV (1752-1817)

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Christ to His Spouse by William Baldwin

Lo, thou, my love, art fair;
Myself hath made thee so:
Yea, thou art fair indeed,
Wherefore thou shalt not need
In beauty to despair;
For I accept thee so,
————–For fair.

For fair, because thine eyes
Are like the culvers’ white,
Whose simpleness in deed
All others do exceed:
Thy judgement wholly lies
In true sense of sprite
————–Most wise.

From: http://kingdompoets.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/william-baldwin.html

Date: 1549

By: William Baldwin (c1515-c1563)

Sunday, 16 April 2017

One More Time by Margaret Hillert

I can’t believe. I don’t believe.
I simply, simply won’t believe
A rabbit comes at Easter time
To bring us eggs-

But then,

I do believe that you believe,
And there are others who believe,
And so perhaps for one more time,
I’ll make believe again.

From: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/262306-easter-poetry/

Date: 1978

By Margaret Hillert (1920-2014)

Friday, 14 April 2017

The Messiah After the Crucifixion by Badr Shakir al Sayyab

After I was brought down, I heard the winds
Whip the palm trees with wild laments;
Footsteps receded into infinity. Wounds
And the cross I was nailed to all afternoon
Didn’t kill me. I listened. A cry of grief
Crossed the plain between me and the city
Like a hawser pulling a ship
Destined to sink. The cry
Was a thread of light between morning
And night in sad winter sky.
Despite all this, the city fell asleep.

When the orange and mulberry trees bloom
When my village Jaykour reaches the limits of fantasy
When grass grows green and sings with fragrance
And the sun suckles it with brilliance
When even darkness grows green
Warmth touches my heart and my blood flows into earth
My heart becomes sun, when sun throbs with light
My heart become earth, throbbing with wheat, blossom and sweet water
My heart is water, an ear of corn
Its death is resurrection. It lives in him who eats
The dough, round as a little breast, life’s breast.
I died by fire. When I burned, the darkness of my clay disappeared. Only God remained.
I was the beginning, and in the beginning was poverty
I died so bread would be eaten in my name
So I would be sown in season.
Many are the lives I’ll live. In every soil
I’ll become a future, a seed, a generation of men
A drop of blood, or more, in every man’s heart.

Then I returned. When Judas saw me he turned pale
I was his secret!
He was a shadow of mine, grown dark
The frozen image of an idea
From which life was plucked
He feared I might reveal death in his eyes
(his eyes were a rock
behind which he hid his death)
He feared my warmth. It was a threat to him so he betrayed it.
“Is this you? Or is it my shadow grown white emitting light?
Men die only once! That’s what our fathers said
That’s what they taught us. Or was it a lie?!”
That’s what he said when he saw me. His whole face spoke.

I hear footsteps, approaching and falling
The tomb rumbles with their fall
Have they come again? Who else could it be?
Their falling footsteps follow me
I lay rocks on my chest
Didn’t they crucify me yesterday? Yet here I am!
Who could know that I . . . ? Who?
And as for Judas and his friends, no one will believe them.
Their footsteps follow me and fall.

Here I am now, naked in my dank tomb
Yesterday I curled up like a thought, a bud
Beneath my shroud of snow. My blood bloomed from moisture
I was then a thin shadow between night and day.
When I burst my soul into treasures and peeled it like fruit
When I turned my pockets into swaddling clothes and my sleeves into a cover
When I kept the bones of little children warm within my flesh
And stripped my wounds to dress the wound of another
The wall between me and God disappeared.
The soldiers surprised even my wounds and my heartbeats
They surprised all that wasn’t dead even if it was a tomb
They took me by surprise the way a flock of starving birds pluck the fruit of a palm tree in a deserted village.

The rifles are pointed and have eyes with which they devour my road
Their fire dreams of my crucifixion
Their eyes are made of fire and iron
The eyes of my people are light in the skies they shine with memory and love.
Their rifles relieve me of my burden; my cross grows moist. How small
Such death is! My death. And yet how great!

After I was nailed to the cross, I cast my eyes toward the city
I could hardly recognize the plain, the wall, the cemetery
Something, as far as my eyes could see, sprung forth
Like a forest in bloom
Everywhere there was a cross and a mourning mother
Blessed be the Lord! Such are the pains of a city in labor.

From: http://www.bu.edu/agni/poetry/print/1975/5-sayyab-messiah.html

Date: 1960 (original in Arabic); 1975 (translation in English)

By: Badr Shakir al-Sayyab (1926-1964)

Translated by: Ben M. Bennani (1946- )