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Medieval Poems IV
Medieval Poems IV IN LIBRARIOS by Thomas Campion loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Booksellers laud authors for novel editions as pimps praise their whores for exotic positions. Brut (circa 1100 AD, written by Layamon, an excerpt) loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Now he stands on a hill overlooking the Avon, seeing steel fishes girded with swords in the stream, their swimming days done, their scales a-gleam like gold-plated shields, their fish-spines floating like shattered spears. Tegner's Drapa loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch I heard a voice, that cried, “Balder the beautiful lies dead, lies dead . . .” a voice like the flight of white cranes intent on a sun sailing high overhead— but a sun now irretrievably setting. Then I saw the sun’s corpse —dead beyond all begetting— borne through disconsolate skies as blasts from the Nifel-heim rang out with dread, “Balder lies dead, our fair Balder lies dead! . . .” Lost—the sweet runes of his tongue, so sweet every lark hushed its singing! Lost, lost forever—his beautiful face, the grace of his smile, all the girls’ hearts wild-winging! O, who ever thought such strange words might be said, as “Balder lies dead, gentle Balder lies dead! . . .” Unholy Trinity by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Man has three enemies: himself, the world, and the devil. Of these the first is, by far, the most irresistible evil. True Wealth by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch There is more to being rich than merely having; the wealthiest man can lose everything not worth saving. The Rose by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch The rose merely blossoms and never asks why: heedless of her beauty, careless of every eye. The Rose by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch The rose lack “reasons” and merely sways with the seasons; she has no ego but whoever put on such a show? Eternal Time by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Eternity is time, time eternity, except when we are determined to "see." Visions by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Our souls possess two eyes: one examines time, the other visions eternal and sublime. Godless by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch God is absolute Nothingness beyond our sense of time and place; the more we try to grasp Him, The more He flees from our embrace. The Source by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Water is pure and clean when taken at the well-head: but drink too far from the Source and you may well end up dead. Ceaseless Peace by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Unceasingly you seek life's ceaseless wavelike motion; I seek perpetual peace, all storms calmed. Whose is the wiser notion? Well Written by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Friend, cease! Abandon all pretense! You must yourself become the Writing and the Sense. Worm Food by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch No worm is buried so deep within the soil that God denies it food as reward for its toil. Mature Love by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch New love, like a sparkling wine, soon fizzes. Mature love, calm and serene, abides. God's Predicament by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch God cannot condemn those with whom he would dwell, or He would have to join them in hell! Clods by Angelus Silesius loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch A ruby is not lovelier than a dirt clod, nor an angel more glorious than a frog. A Proverb from Winfred's Time anonymous Old English poem, circa 757-786 loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch 1. The procrastinator puts off purpose, never initiates anything marvelous, never succeeds, and dies alone. 2. The late-deed-doer delays glory-striving, never indulges daring dreams, never succeeds, and dies alone. 3. Often the deed-dodger avoids ventures, never succeeds, and dies alone. Winfrid or Wynfrith is better known as Saint Boniface (c. 675–754). This may be the second-oldest English poem, after "Caedmon's Hymn." Franks Casket Runes anonymous Old English poems, circa 700 loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch 1. The fish flooded the shore-cliffs; the sea-king wept when he swam onto the shingle: whale's bone. 2. Romulus and Remus, twin brothers weaned in Rome by a she-wolf, far from their native land. Elegy for a little girl, lost by Michael R. Burch for my mother, Christine Ena Burch . . . qui laetificat juventutem meam . . . She was the joy of my youth, and now she is gone. . . . requiescat in pace . . . May she rest in peace. . . . amen . . . Amen. I was touched by this Latin prayer, which I discovered in a novel I read as a teenager. I later decided to incorporate it into a poem. From what I now understand, “ad deum qui laetificat juventutem meam” means “to the God who gives joy to my youth,” but I am sticking with my original interpretation: a lament for a little girl at her funeral. Bede's Death Song ancient Old English/Anglo-Saxon lyric poem, circa 735 AD loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Facing Death, that inescapable journey, who can be wiser than he who reflects, while breath yet remains, on whether his life brought others happiness, or pains, since his soul may yet win delight's or night's way after his death-day. Keywords/Tags: Medieval poems, Middle English poems, Old English poems, Anglo-Saxon poems, Anglo-Norman poems, author, authors, novel, novels, Avon, sword, swords, shields, spears, rose, roses, angel, angels, Angelus, romance, romantic, women, mother
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