Archive for ‘Religious’

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Meditation on the One by Ge Hong

The One resides at the North Pole,
in the midst of the abyss.
In front is the Hall of Light,
behind is the Crimson Palace.
Imposing is the Flowery Canopy,
great is the Golden Pavilion!
On its left is the gang star, on its right the kui,
waves and breakers propagate in the void.
Mysterious excrescences overlay the cliffs,
vermilion herbs enwrap the hills;
on the rocks is white jade,
the Sun and the Moon spread their light.
There you go beyond fire and pass over water,
you cross the Mystery and go past the Yellow.
Walls and gates intersect,
curtains and hangings are adorned with gems;
dragons and tigers are lined up on guard
and divine beings are at their sides.

From: Pregadio, Fabrizio, “Early Daoist Meditation and the Origins of Inner Alchemy” in Penny, Benjamin (ed.), Daoism in History: Essays in Honour of Liu Ts’un-yan, 2006, Routledge: London, p. 129.

Date: c320 (original); 2006 (translation)

By: Ge Hong (283-c353)

Translated by: Fabrizio Pregadio (1957- )

Friday, 30 March 2018

You Who Created Everything by Anonymous

You who created everything,
My sweet Father, heavenly King,
Hear me, I your son implore,
For Man this flesh and bone I bore.

Clear and bright my breast and side,
Blood on the wideness gushing wide,
Holes in my body crucified.

Held stiff and stark my long arms rise,
And dim and dark fall on my eyes:
Like sculptured marble hang my thighs.

My feet are red with flowing blood,
Their holes washed over by the flood.
Show Man’s sins mercy, Father on high!
With all my wounds to you I cry!

From: Stone, Brian (ed. and transl.), Medieval English Verse, 1973, Penguin Books: London, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 14th century (original in Middle English); 1964 (translation in modern English)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: Brian Ernest Stone (1919-1995)

Saturday, 10 March 2018

By My Life I Will Not Let You Go by Janābāi

I caught the thief of Pandhari1
by tying a rope around his neck.

I made my heart the prison cell
and locked him up inside.

I bound him firmly with the Word,
I fettered his holy feet,

I thrashed him, whipped him
with the word so’ham2
while Vitthal complained bitterly.

Sorry, O Lord,
says Jani,
by my life I will not let you go.

1. Thief of Pandhari – Vitthala/Vitthal/Vithoba, Hindu god, generally considered as a manifestation of Vishnu or Krishna.
2. So’ham – Hindu mantra which translates as “I am He/That”.


Date: c1320 (original in Marathi); 1996 (translation in English)

By: Janābāi (c1280-1350)

Translated by: Sarah Sellergren (19??- )

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Introduction to “An Answere to a Papystycall Exhortacyon Pretendynge to Avoyde False Doctryne, Under that Colour to Maynteyne the Same” by John Bale

Everye pylde pedlar
Wyll be a medlar
Though ther wyttes be drowsye
And ther lernynge lowsye
Ther meters all mangye
Rashe, rurall, and grangye
Yet wyll they forwarde halte
As menne mased in malte

These vyle cannell rakers
Are now becumme makers
Ther poems out they dashe
With all ther swyber swashe
Ther darnell and ther chaffe
Ther swylle and swynyshe draffe
Soche pype soche melodye
Soche bagge soche beggerye.

Of pylde popyshe facyons
They strowe exhortacions
The people to infecte.
With the sedes of ther secte
Pretendynge to dyffyne
Agaynst the false doctrine
But soche dyrtye geare
Ded menne never heare.

They teache nat in meter
With Paule Johan and Peter
The worlde to edyfye
With goddes worde christenlye
But scripturs they deprave
As madde men that do rave
They daunce with the devyll
To magnysye ther evyll

They drysle forth a dramme
As he that to Christ came
To trappe hym in a snare
Forsoth it is fonde ware
Let christen menne take hede
Unto ther wycked sede
For they seke for to blynde
The syllye symple mynde.

From: Bale, John, An Answere to a Papystycall Exhortacyon Pretendynge to Avoyde False Doctryne, Under that Colour to Maynteyne the Same, 2004, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford, pp. [unnumbered.

Date: c1548

By: John Bale (1495-1563)

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Abide with Me by Henry Francis Lyte

“Abide with us: for it is toward evening; and the day is far spent.” — St. Luke xxiv. 29

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens: Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away:
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou, who changest not, abide with me!

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free,
Come, not to sojourn, but abide, with me!

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings;
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings:
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me!

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me!

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the Tempter’s power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me!

I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless:
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes:
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee.
In life and death, O Lord, abide with me!

Berryhead, September 1847.

From: Lyte, Henry Francis, Miscellaneous Poems, 1868, Rivingtons: London, Oxford, and Cambridge, pp. 297-299.

Date: 1847

By: Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847)

Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Eagle and the Crow: A Dialogue by Abul Qasim Hassan Unsuri Balkhi

A dialogue occurred, I happen to know,
Betwixt the white eagle and the crow.

Birds we are, said the crow, in the main,
Friends we are, and thus we shall remain.

Birds we are, agreed the eagle, only in name,
Our temperaments, alas, are not the same.

My leftovers are a king’s feast,
Carrion you devour, to say the least.

My perch’s the king’s arm, his palace my bed,
You haunt the ruins, mingle with the dead.

My color is heavenly, as everyone can tell,
Your color inflicts pain, like news from hell.

Kings tend to choose me rather than you,
Good attracts good, that goes for evil too.


Date: 11th century (original in Persian); 2000 (translation in English)

By: Abul Qasim Hassan Unsuri Balkhi (980-1039/40)

Translated by: Iraj Bashiri (1940- )

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Verses 5-7 from “Britaine’s Glorie, or An Allegoricall Dreame” by Robert Carliell

The Angell then transfer’d me to a Land,
Where huge deformed ugly Giants breed,
Which spoil’d and burnt good corne which there did stand,
And set Tabacco that foule stinking weede,
One bad me taste, but the Angell bad me leave,
For that would me quite of my life bereave.

For this is not a man as you suppose,
But a black fiend which humane shape assumes,
That takes Tabacco thus through mouth and nose,
And brings from Hell these devillish perfumes,
I started back seeing it was a Devill,
And praied good Angell, save me from this evill.

Be not afraid quoth he, thou shalt that see
Before that we depart this wicked Land,
Which never eie beheld: And then to me
Appear’d damn’d creatures in the flames to stand,
These are Tabacconists said he, that for this turne,
Did whilst they liv’d, before-hand learne to burne.

From: Carliell, Robert, Britaines glorie, or An allegoricall dreame: with the exposition thereof. Containing [brace]the heathens infidelitie, the Turkes blasphemie, the popes hypocrisie, Amsterdams varietie, the Church of Englands veritie [brace] in religion. And in our Church of England, [brace] the kings excellency. His issues integritie. The nobles and gentries constancie. The councels and iudges fidelitie. The preachers puritie. The bishops sinceritie. / Conceiued and written by Robert Carlyle gent. for the loue and honour of his king and country, 2014, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 1618

By: Robert Carliell (15??-1622)

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! by Lawrence S. Pertillar

From the shallow shopping days,
Of Christmas spent.
And gifts selected …
To induce an increased seduction.
With the onslaught of ornament productions.
May they take these memories …
And wish those feelings that excited them,
Especially during times …
That find all who cherish these “things.”
Keep within their hearts to discover …
The thankfulness and joy, Others to them bring!
Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa!
And joyous times to those,
Who are grateful and know …
They are among the blessed!
However this tradition is done,
That brings those around the world …
To address their happiness!
And fun shared with everyone.


Date: ?2008

By: Lawrence S. Pertillar (1947- )

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Boxing Day by Julian Stannard

The dogs are going crazy.
I think Mother slipped them
some amphetamines.

A truly enormous ham
is being cooked

and the dogs are becoming idiotic and psychotic.

My ex-wife is late which is good
and not so good. Mother pulsates.

Welcome, ex-wife, have some ham.
I watch Mother slicing slicing slicing.
Two pieces of ham for ex-wife,
and three pieces of ham for me.

O Bethlehem!

O Bethlehem!

In England we eat boiled ham, Mother says.
Do you like boiled ham? Mother asks ex-wife.
Ex-wife says, I have been to West Ham,
I may have taken the wrong line.

After the enormous ham
Mother shouts, Pudding!
and off she walks to the special shed.

I am left with ex-wife.
Shall we dance? No.

Water has flowed under the bridge,
says ex-wife. Not enough, I’m thinking.

Flee whilst you can, ex-wife! Flee!

Mother’s walking back to the house,
the dogs have conked out
in some post-amphetamine afternoon lockdown.

Mother appears with a trifle.
An enormous trifle.
In England, Mother says, we eat trifle.


Date: 2017

By: Julian Stannard (19??- )

Monday, 25 December 2017

The Voice of Christmas by Harry Hibbard Kemp

I cannot put the Presence by, of Him, the Crucified,
Who moves men’s spirits with His Love as doth the moon the tide;
Again I see the Life He lived, the godlike Death He died.

Again I see upon the cross that great Soul-battle fought,
Into the texture of the world the tale of which is wrought
Until it hath become the woof of human deed and thought,

And, joining with the cadenced bells that all the morning fill,
His cry of agony doth yet my inmost being thrill,
Like some fresh grief from yesterday that tears the heart-strings still.

I cannot put His Presence by, I meet Him everywhere;
I meet Him in the country town, the busy market-square;
The Mansion and the Tenement attest His Presence there.

Upon the funneled ships at sea He sets His shining feet;
The Distant Ends of Empire not in vain His Name repeat,
And, like the presence of a rose, He makes the whole world sweet.

He comes to break the barriers down raised up by barren creeds;
About the globe from zone to zone like sunlight He proceeds;
He comes to give the World’s starved heart the perfect love it needs,

The Christ Whose friends have played Him false, Whom Dogmas have belied,
Still speaking to the hearts of men Tho shamed and crucified,
The Master of the Centuries Who will not be denied!

From: Kemp, Harry, The Cry of Youth, 1914, Mitchell Kennerley: New York, pp.

Date: 1914

By: Harry Hibbard Kemp (1883-1960)