Posts tagged ‘1st century bce’

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??- )

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Sick Wife by Anonymous

She had been ill for years and years;
She sent for me to say something.
She couldn’t say what she wanted
Because of the tears that kept coming of themselves.
“I have burdened you with orphan children,
With orphan children two or three.
Don’t let our children go hungry or cold;
If they do wrong, don’t slap or beat them.
When you take out the baby, rock it in your arms.
Don’t forget to do that.”
Last she said,
“When I carried them in my arms they had no clothes
And now their jackets have no linings.”

[She dies.]

I shut the doors and barred the windows
And left the motherless children.
When I got to the market and met my friends, I wept.
I sat down and could not go with them.
I asked them to buy some cakes for my children.
In the presence of my friends I sobbed and cried.
I tried not to grieve, but sorrow would not cease.
I felt in my pocket and gave my friends some money.
When I got home I found my children
Calling to be taken into their mother’s arms.
I walked up and down in the empty room
This way and that a long while.
Then I went away from it and said to myself
“I will forget and never speak of her again.”

From: Waley, Arthur, A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems, 1918, Constable and Company: London, pp. 29-30.
(http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42290)

Date: 1st century BCE (original); 1918 (translation)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: Arthur David Waley (1889-1966)

Saturday, 25 February 2017

O Phileros, Why a Torch, that We Need Not? by Valerius Aedituus

O Phileros, why a torch, that we need not?
Just as we are we’ll go, our hearts aflame.
That flame no wild wind’s blast can ever quench,
Or rain that falls torrential from the skies;
Venus herself alone can quell her fire,
No other force there is that has such power.

From: Aulus Gellius and Rolfe, John C. (ed. and transl.), The Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius. With an English Translation, 1927, William Heinemann Ltd: London and Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass., p. 385.
(http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2007.01.0072%3Abook%3D19%3Achapter%3D9%3Asection%3D9arg)

Date: 1st century BCE (original in Latin); 1927 (translation in English)

By: Valerius Aedituus (1st century BCE)

Translated by: John Carew Rolfe (1859-1943)

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Raising the Alarm by Meleager of Gadara

Help! He is gone. That wild boy, Love, has escaped!
Just now, as day was breaking, he flew from his bed and was gone.
Description? Sweetly tearful, talks forever, swift, irreverent,
Slyly laughing, wings on his back, and carries a quiver.
His last name? I don’t know, for his father and mother,
Whoever they are, in earth or heaven, won’t admit it.
Everyone hates him, you see. Take care, take care,
Or even now he’ll be weaving new snares for your heart.
But hush—look there, turn slowly. You don’t deceive me, boy,
Drawing your bow so softly where you hide in Zenophile’s eyes.

From: http://jacket2.org/commentary/seventeen-ancient-poems-translated-greek-and-latin-thomas-mcevilley

Date: 1st century BCE (original in Greek); 2013 (translation in English)

By: Meleager of Gadara (1st century BCE)

Translated by: Thomas McEvilley (1939-2013)

Sunday, 23 October 2016

At Last It’s Come by Sulpicia

At last it’s come, and to be said to hide this kind of love
would shame me more than rumors that I’d laid it bare.
Won over by the pleading of my Muse, Cytherea
delivered him to me. She placed him in my arms.
Venus has fulfilled what she promised: Let my joys be told
by one who is said to have no joy of her own.
I would hate to keep what I’ve written under seal where none
could read me sooner than my lover, for pleasure
Likes a little infamy; discretion is nothing but a tedious pose.
Let it be known I have found a fitting partner.

From: Rayor, Diane J. and Batstone, William W. (eds.), Latin Lyric and Elegaic Poetry: An Anthology of New Translations, 1995, Routledge: New York, p. 84.

Date: 1st century BCE (original in Latin); 1994 (translation in English)

By: Sulpicia (1st century BCE)

Translated by: Mary Maxwell (19??- )