You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Prose’ category.

Poem 5 from A Hundred Verses from Old Japan” or the “Hyaku-Nin-Isshiu

5

SARU MARU, A SHINTO OFFICIAL or SARU MARU TAIU

Oku yama ni
Momiji fumi wake
Naku shika no
Koe kiku toki zo
Aki wa kanashiki.

HEAR the stag’s pathetic call
Far up the mountain side,
While tramping o’er the maple leaves
Wind-scattered far and wide
This sad, sad autumn tide.

NOTE: Very little is known of this writer, but he probably lived not later than A.D. 800. Stags and the crimson leaves of the maple are frequently used as the symbolism of autumn.

——————-

Poem 7 from A Hundred Verses from Old Japan” or the “Hyaku-Nin-Isshiu

7

NAKAMARO ABE or ABE NO NAKAMARO

Ama no hara
Furisake-mireba
Kasuga naru
Mikasa no yama ni
Ideshi tsuki kamo.

WHILE gazing up into the sky,
My thoughts have wandered far;
Methinks I see the rising moon
Above Mount Mikasa
At far-off Kasuga.

NOTE: The poet, when sixteen years of age, was sent with two others to China, to discover the secret of the Chinese calendar, and on the night before sailing for home his friends gave him a farewell banquet. It was a beautiful moonlight night, and after dinner he composed this verse. Another account, however, says that the Emperor of China, becoming suspicious, caused him to be invited to a dinner at the top of a high pagoda, and then had the stairs removed, in order that he might be left to die of hunger. Nakamaro is said to have bitten his hand and written this verse with his blood, after which he appears to have escaped and fled to Annam. Kasuga, pronounced Kasunga, is a famous temple at the foot of Mount Mikasa, near Nara, the poet’s home; the verse was written in the year 726, and the author died in 780

————————-

From: A HUNDRED VERSES FROM OLD JAPAN

ISBN: 978-1-907256-19-6

http://www.abelapublishing.com/hvoj.html

A percentage of the profits will be donated to the CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE APPEAL.

Advertisements

Today a story and poem from the land of Armenia……

 

The story of  ARTASHES AND SATENIK (From the History of Armenia) by MOSES OF KHORENE

AT this time the Alans united with all the people of the mountain country, and having taken possession of the half of Georgia, spread themselves in great multitudes over our land. And Artashes collected a mighty host together, and there was war between the two great nations. The Alans retreated somewhat, and crossing over the river Kur they encamped on its northern bank. And when Artashes arrived, he encamped on the southern hank, so that the river was between them. But because the son of the King of the Alans was taken captive by the Armenian hosts and brought to Artashes, the King of the Alans sought peace, promising to give to Artashes whatsoever he should ask. And he swore an eternal peace unto him, so that the sons of the Alans might not be carried away captive into the land of the Armenians. And when Artashes would not consent to give back the youth, his sister came to the river’s bank and stood upon a great rock. And by means of the interpreters she spoke to the camp of Artashes, saying:–“O brave Artashes, who hast vanquished the great nation of the Alans, unto thee I speak. Come, hearken unto the bright-eyed daughter of the Alan King, and give back the youth. For it is not the way of heroes to destroy life at the root, nor for the sake of humbling and enslaving a hostage to establish everlasting enmity between two great nations.” And on hearing such wise sayings, Artashes went to the bank of the river. And seeing that the maiden was beautiful, and having heard these words of wisdom from her, he desired her. And calling Smpad his chamberlain he told him the wishes of his heart, and commanded that he should obtain the maiden for him, swearing unto the great Alan nation oaths of peace, and promising to send the youth back in safety. And this appeared wise in the eyes of Smpad, and he sent messengers unto the King of the Alans asking him to give the lady Satenik his daughter as wife unto Artashes. And the King of the Mans answered, “From whence shall brave Artashes give thousands upon thousands and tens of thousands upon tens of thousands unto the Alans in return for the maiden?”

 

Concerning this the poets of that land sing in their songs:–

 

“Brave King Artashes
Mounted his fine black charger,
And took the red leathern cord
With the golden ring.
Like a swift-winged eagle
He passed over the river,
And cast the golden ring
Round the waist of the Alan Princess;
Causing much pain
To the tender maiden
As he bore her swiftly
Back to his camp.”

 

Which being interpreted meaneth that he was commanded to give much gold, leather, and crimson dye in exchange for the maiden. So also they sing of the wedding:–

 

“It rained showers of gold when Artashes became a bridegroom.
It rained pearls when Satenik became a bride.”

 

For it was the custom of our kings to scatter coins amongst the people when they arrived at the doors of the temple for their wedding, as also for the queens to scatter pearls in their bridechamber.

 

Artashes and Satenik from Armenian Poetry and Legends

 

——————

THE SORROWS OF ARMENIA

 

IN many a distant, unknown land,
My sons belovèd exiled roam,
Servile they kiss the stranger’s hand;
How shall I find and bring them home?

 

The ages pass, no tidings come;
My brave ones fall, are lost and gone.
My blood is chilled, my voice is dumb,
And friend or comfort I have none.

 

With endless griefs my heart is worn,
Eternal sorrow is my doom;
Far from my sons, despis’d, forlorn,
I must descend the darksome tomb.

 

Thou shepherd wandering o’er the hill,
Come weep with me my children lost;
Let mournful strains the valleys fill
For those we loved and valued most.

 

Fly, crane, Armenia’s bird, depart;
Tell them I die of grief; and tell
How hope is dead within my heart–
Bear to my sons my last farewell!

 

————————-

From ARMENIAN POETRY AND LEGENDS

ISBN: 978-1-907256-18-9

http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_apl.html

 

A percentage of the profits will be donated to the Centre for Armenian Information and Advice (CAIA) in London.

Armenian Poetry and Legends

Today we take a brief branch away from our usual folkore and fairy tales and have a look at three poems from the book WHEN HEARTS ARE TRUMPS.  The verse in this volume were  selected from works that had appeared in various periodicals, LIFE, TRUTH, TOWN TOPICS, VOGUE, and MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE during the five years 1893-1898 and whose editors kindly gave Tom Hall permission to republish them. So popular was this collection of poetry, that it had at least six editions. Read on and enjoy……….

 

THE OLD-FASHIONED GIRL.

 

There’s an old-fashioned girl in an old fashioned street,

Dressed in old-fashioned clothes from her head to her feet;

And she spends all her time in the old-fashioned way

Of caring for poor people’s children all day.

She never has been to cotillon1 or ball,

And she knows not the styles of the Spring or the Fall;

Two hundred a year will suffice for her needs,

And an old-fashioned Bible is all that she reads.

And she has an old-fashioned heart that is true

To a fellow who died in an old coat of blue,

With its buttons all brass,—who is waiting above

For the woman who loved him with old-fashioned love.

 

1 The Cotillion was a popular 18th and 19th century dance in the French Courts that preceded the Quadrille style of dancing.

 

– – – – – – –

A RHYMING REVERIE.

 

It was a dainty lady’s glove;

A souvenir to rhyme with love.

It was the memory of a kiss,

So called to make it rhyme with bliss.

There was a month at Mt. Desert,

Synonymous and rhymes with flirt.

A pretty girl and lots of style,

Which rhymes with happy for a while.

There came a rival old and bold,

To make him rhyme with gold and sold.

A broken heart there had to be.

Alas, the rhyme just fitted me.

 

– – – – – – –

 

VANITY FAIR.

 

Oh, whence, oh, where

Is Vanity Fair?

I want to be seen with the somebodies there.

I’ve money and beauty and college-bred brains;

Though my ‘scutcheon’s not spotless, who’ll mind a few stains?

To caper I wish in the chorus of style,

And wed an aristocrat after a while

So please tell me truly, and please tell me fair,

Just how many miles it’s from Madison Square.

It’s here, it’s there,

Is Vanity Fair.

It’s not like a labyrinth, not like a lair.

It’s North and it’s South, and it’s East and it’s West;

You can see it, oh, anywhere, quite at its best.

Dame Fashion is queen, Ready Money is king,

You can join it, provided you don’t know a thing.

It’s miles over here, and it’s miles over there;

And it’s not seven inches from Madison Square.

 

– – – – – – –

 

From WHEN HEARTS ARE TRUMPS compiled by Tom Hall

ISBN: 978-1-907256-55-4

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_what.html

Click on the URL for more info, a table of contents and to order in USD or GBP.

 

A percentage of the profits will be donated to The BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION.

 

When Hearts are Trumps a book of love poems

 

 

 

Advertisements