elegy

Let us gather, let us gather the rose in the morning of life;
at least breathe the flowers of fleeting Springs;
let us abandon our hearts to chaste pleasures;
let us love without limit, O my only friend!

When the boatman beaten by angry waves
sees his frail bark threatened by shipwreck,
he turns his glance to the shores he has left
and regrets too late the land’s leisure.
Ah! how he then wishes he had never forsaken his country or his gods,
passing obscure days without danger or fame
beneath the roof of his fathers near the beloved objects
that are present in his memory!

So man, bent beneath the weight of years,
weeps for his sweet Spring that cannot return.
,,Ah! give me back, he says, those hours I profaned!
O gods! I forgot to enjoy them in their season.’’

He speaks; death replies; and those gods to whom he prays,
pushing him into the grave without relenting,
do not let him stoop again to pick up those flowers
which he has not known how to gather.
O my beloved, let us love one another!
And let us laugh at the cares that cradle mortal men.
For the foolish lure of empty smoke
half their days, alas!
Are used up on neglect of the real wealth.
Let us not envy their sterile pride;
let us leave far-off hopes to the masters of men!
For us, uncertain of our hour,
let us hasten to empty life’s cup
while it is in our hands.

Whether the bays crown us and our names
are inscribed on marble or brass in the bloody annals of proud Bellona;
or whether love adorns our humble brows
with the simple flowers harvested by beauty,
we shall all be cast away on the same shore:
at the moment of shipwreck what does it matter
whether we have cleft the air on a famous ship
or timidly skirted the sea-shore,
the sole traveler on a light bark ?

Alphonse de Lamartine

Advertisements

a breath of wind

From ancient times the saying comes,
“There is no death; there is no life.”
Indeed, the skies are cloudless
And the river waters clear.

Toshimoto

may

At night my sleep
embraces the summer shadows
of my life.

Oto

verses about the most beautiful lady

Do not expect the final answer,
It is not given in this life.
But the ear of the poet clearly catches
The distant thunder on his road.

He has bent his head attentively,
Eagerly, he takes it in, fine-strung, he waits,
And already he can hear it:
It flowers, it basks in bliss, it grows….

And nearer yet, the premonition stronger,
But, Ah! The expectation is unbearable…
And the seer falls, struck dumb,
Hearing the thunder close upon the road.

Alexander Blok

brevity of life

One verse by the blind poet of Chios is indelible:
“The life of man is like a summer’s leaf.”
Yet few who hear these words take them into their heart,
for hope is rooted in every youthful soul,
the lovely flower of youth grows tall with color,
life will have no end,
or there is no place for growing old, for death;
and while in health, no fear of foul disease.
Poor fools! in islands of illusion,
for men have but a day of youth and life.
You few who understand, know when death is near
the food you give your soul must be supreme…

Semonides

the golden rule

There are two tragedies in life.
One is to lose your heart’s desire.
The other is to gain it.

Bernard Shaw

alcestis

Today’s today. Tomorrow, we may be
ourselves gone down the drain of
eternity.

Euripides