Archive for ‘Translation’

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Certaine Verses Written by the Said Ladie Jane with a Pinne by Jane Grey Dudley

Do not think anything alien to mankind which may befall one:
This is my fate today, tomorrow it may be yours.
Jane Dudley

With God’s help, wicked malice can do one no harm;
If He helps not, then the hardest work is in vain
After darkness, I hope for light.

Note: These two short poems were written in Latin as graffiti on the wall of a cell in the Beauchamp Tower (part of the Tower of London) by Jane Grey Dudley, the very short-lived Nine Days’ Queen, who was executed in 1554 after Mary I assumed the throne. They were first published, under this title, in their original Latin without translation in 1582 by Thomas Bentley.

From: https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/certaine-verses-written-said-ladie-jane-pinne

Date: 1554 (original in Latin); ???? (translation in English)

By: Jane Grey Dudley (c1537-1554)

Translated by: Unknown

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Done Drinking My New Year’s Wine by Lu You

Done drinking my New Year’s wine,
truly now an eighty-year-old man,
Used to worry outspokenness would be my death,
now content just to be poor and write poems.
Rice cheap — that means no thieves this year;
cloudy skies foretell another good harvest.
Something in the food bowl — what other cares?
Smiling, happy, I tag along with the young boys.

From: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2007/11/04/books/rural-living-of-an-old-man-who-does-as-he-pleases/#.WYL5kOS1uM8

Date: 1204 (original); 2007 (translation)

By: Lu You (1125-1209)

Translated by: Burton DeWitt Watson (1925-2017)

Friday, 18 August 2017

I.47 by Marcus Valerius Martialis

Doctor Diaulus has changed his trade:
He now is a mortician,
With the same results he got before
As a practicing physician.

From: Wender, Dorothea (transl. and ed.), Roman Poetry from the Republic to the Silver Age, 1991, Southern Illinois University Press: Carbondale and Edwardsville, p. 124.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=aCPUZhUOkW0C)

Date: 86 (original in Latin); 1980 (translation in English)

By: Marcus Valerius Martialis (c39-c103)

Translated by: Dorothea Schmidt Wender (1934-2003)

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Fragment 4 by Simonides of Ceos

Who at Thermopylæ stood side by side,
And fought together and together died,
Under earth-barrows now are laid in rest,
Their chance thrice-glorious, and their fate thrice-blest:
No tears for them, but memory’s loving gaze;
For them no pity, but proud hymns of praise.
Time shall not sweep this monument away—
Time the destroyer; no, nor dank decay.
This not alone heroic ashes holds;
Greece’s own glory this earth-shrine enfolds—
Leonidas, the Spartan king; a name
Of boundless honour and eternal fame.

From: Fitz-Gerald, Maurice Purcell (transl. and ed.), The Crowned Hippolytus of Euripides, Together with a Selection from the Pastoral and Lyric Poets of Greece, Translated into English Verse, 1867, Chapman and Hall: London, p. 211.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=LIQCAAAAQAAJ)

Date: c480 BCE (original in Greek); 1867 (translation in English)

By: Simonides of Ceos (c556-468 BCE)

Translated by: Maurice Noel Ryder Purcell FitzGerald (1835-1877)

Friday, 11 August 2017

Love’s Sustenance by Jorge de Montemor

With sorrow, tears, and discontent
Love his forces doth augment.
Water is to meads delight,
And the flax doth please the fire;
Oil in lamp agreeth right;
Green meads are all the flocks’ desire;
Ripening fruit and wheaty ears
With due heat are well content;
And with pains and many tears
Love his forces doth augment.

From: Bullen, A. H. (ed.), Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, from Romances and Prose-Tracts of the Elizabethan Age: with Chosen Poems of Nicholas Breton, 1890, John C. Nimmo: London, p. 52.
(https://archive.org/details/cu31924013294305)

Date: c1559 (original in Spanish); 1598 (translation in English)

By: Jorge de Montemor (?1520-1561)

Translated by: Bartholomew Young (fl. 1577-1598)

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Song of Resentment by Ban Jieyu

Newly cut white silk from Qi,
Clear and pure as frost and snow.
Made into a fan for joyous trysts,
Round as the bright moon.
In and out of my lord’s cherished sleeve,
Waved back and forth to make a light breeze.
Often I fear the arrival of the autumn season,
Cool winds overcoming the summer heat.
Discarded into a box,
Affection cut off before fulfillment.

From: http://www.silkqin.com/02qnpu/16xltq/xl121hgq.htm

Date: 1st century BCE (original); 2002 (translation)

By: Ban Jieyu (c48-c6 BCE)

Translated by: David R. Knegtes (19??- )

Thursday, 3 August 2017

On a Rainy Autumn Night by Choi Chiwon

I sing a bitter song on the autumn wind,
with very few who really appreciate it.
Outside the world drips midnight rain:
under the lamplight, my thoughts drift far away.

From: https://leonarddurso.com/2013/11/08/on-a-rainy-autumn-night-by-choe-chi-won/

Date: 9th-10th century (original); 1987 (translation)

By: Choi Chiwon (857-after 924)

Translated by: Kim Jong-gil (1926-2017)

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Excerpt from “The Third Book” of “Astronomicon” by Marcus Manilius

When Nature order’d this vast Frame to rise,
Nature, the Guardian of these Mysteries,
And scatter’d Lucid Bodies o’er the Skies;
When she the Concave, whence directly fall
Streight Lines of Influence round the solid Ball,
Had fill’d with Stars; and made Earth, Water, Air,
And Fire, each other mutually repair;
That Concord might these differing parts controul,
And Leagues of mutual Aid support the whole;
That nothing which the Skies embrace might be
From Heaven’s supreme Command and Guidance free,
On Man the chiefest Object of her Cares
Long time she thought, then hung his Fates on Stars;
Those Stars, which plac’d i’th’ Heart of Heaven, display
The brightest Beams, and share the greatest sway;
Which keep a constant Course, and now restrain
The Planets Power, now yield to them again;
Thus sometimes ruling, sometimes rul’d, create
The strange and various Intercourse of Fate.
To these her Powers wise Nature’s Laws dispense
Submitting all things to their Influence:
But then as Emperours their Realms divide,
And every Province hath its proper Guide,
So ’tis in Signs; they have not equal Shares
Of common Power, each Fortune claims its Stars.
Our Studies, Poverty, Wealth, Joy and Grief,
With all the other Accidents of Life
She parcels out; to proper Stars confines
The Lots in number equal to the Signs.

From: Manilius, Marcus, The five books of Mr. Manilius containing a system of the ancient astronomy and astrology : together with the philosophy of the Stoicks / done into English verse with notes by Mr. Tho. Creech, 2005, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford, p. 99.
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A51767.0001.001)

Date: c10-20 (original in Latin); 1700 (translation in English)

By: Marcus Manilius (fl. 1st century)

Translated by: Thomas Creech (1659-1700)

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Wine is the Test for Love by Asclepiades of Samos

Wine is the test for love:
Nikagoras told us he loved no one,
but his many toasts betrayed him.
Oh yes! He bent his head and wept,
and then his wreath slipped,
half to cover the aching in those
sad dark eyes.

From: Nystrom, Bradley P. (transl.) and Little, Claudette Sherbert (ill.), The Song of Eros: Ancient Greek Love Poems, 2009, Southern Illinois University Press: Carbondale, p. 10.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=f9nNuChxuREC)

Date: c270 BCE (original in Greek); 1991 (translation in English)

By: Asclepiades of Samos (c320 BCE-c260 BCE)

Translated by: Bradley P. Nystrom (19??- )

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Song of the Man Who Was Weary of Life by Anonymous

This day is Death before my eyes
As when a man grown well again,
And rising from a bed of pain,
The garden sees

This day is Death before my eyes
Like fragrant myrrh’s alluring smell,
Like sitting ’neath the sails which swell
In favouring breeze

This day is Death before my eyes
Like water-bosomed lotus scent,
Or when, the traveller, worn and spent,
At last drinks deep.

This day is Death before my eyes
As when the soldier glimpses home,
As pent-up garden-waters foam
Down channels steep.

This day is Death before my eyes
As when, mist clearing from the blue,
The hunter’s quarry leaps to view,
Like this is Death before my eyes
As when, the captive, bound in pain,
Yearns sore to see his home again,
Like this is Death
While we draw breath,
We seek life’s prize
The prize is – Death.

From: Sharpley, C. Elissa (ed.), Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Poems, 1925, John Murray: London, pp. 79-80.
(https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.60956)

Date: c1850 BCE (original in Egyptian hieroglyphs); 1923 (translation in English)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: George Anthony Armstrong Willis (1897-1972)