I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.
[But before you find yourself beguiled ...
remember, I was just a Palestinian child.]
Czech translation by Václav Z J Pinkava
EPITAF PALESTINSKÉHO DECKA
Život muj živoril, do konce deje.
Pozor kam šlapeš: hrob do šíre zeje.
Turkish translation by Nurgül Yayman
Filistinli bir çocugun mezar yazisi
"Why are your songs all wild and bitter sad
As funeral dirges with the orphans' cries?
Each night since first the world was made hath had
A sequent day to laugh it down the skies.
Chant us a glee to make our hearts rejoice,
Or seal in silence this unmanly moan."
My friend, I have no power to rule my voice --
A spirit lifts me where I lie alone,
And thrills me into song by its own laws;
That which I feel, but seldom know, indeed
Tempering the melody it could not cause.
Twenty-Third Sunday After Trinity
Red o'er the forest peers the setting sun,
The line of yellow light dies fast away
That crowned the eastern copse: and chill and dun
Falls on the moor the brief November day.
Now the tired hunter winds a parting note,
And Echo hide good-night from every glade;
Yet wait awhile, and see the calm heaves float
Each to his rest beneath their parent shade.
How like decaying life they seem to glide!
And yet no second spring have they in store,
But where they fall, forgotten to abide
Travels With John Hunter
We who travel between worlds
lose our muscle and bone.
I was wheeling a barrow of earth
when agony bayoneted me.
I could not sit, or lie down,
or stand, in Casualty.
Stomach-calming clay caked my lips,
I turned yellow as the moon
and slid inside a CAT-scan wheel
in a hospital where I met no one
so much was my liver now my dire
preoccupation. I was sped down a road.
of treetops and fishing-rod lightpoles
towards the three persons of God
Upon Concluded Lives
Upon Concluded Lives
There's nothing cooler falls—
Than Life's sweet Calculations—
The mixing Bells and Palls—
Make Lacerating Tune—
To Ears the Dying Side—
'Tis Coronal—and Funeral—
Saluting—in the Road—
Upon the Late Storm
[And Death of His Highness Ensuing the Same.]
We must resign! Heaven his great soul does claim
In storms, as loud as his immortal fame;
His dying groans, his last breath, shakes our isle,
And trees uncut fall for his funeral pile.
About his palace their broad roots are tossed
Into the air: So Romulus was lost.
New Rome in such a tempest missed her king,
And from obeying fell to worshipping.
On Oeta's top thus Hercules lay dead,
With ruined oaks and pines about him spread;
The woman he loved, while he dreamed of her,
Danced on till the stars grew dim,
But alone with her heart, from the world apart
Sat the woman who loved him.
The woman he worshipped only smiled
When he poured out his passionate love.
But the other somewhere, kissed her treasure most rare,
A book he had touched with his glove.
The woman he loved betrayed his trust,
And he wore the scars for life;
And he cared not, nor knew, that the other was true;
But no man called her his wife.
Here on the slopes of hills, facing the dusk and the cannon of time
Close to the gardens of broken shadows,
We do what prisoners do,
And what the jobless do:
We cultivate hope.
A country preparing for dawn. We grow less intelligent
For we closely watch the hour of victory:
No night in our night lit up by the shelling
Our enemies are watchful and light the light for us
In the darkness of cellars.
Here there is no "I".
Here Adam remembers the dust of his clay.
Their eyes met; flashed an instant like swift swords
That leapt unparring to each other's heart,
Jarring convulsion through the inmost chords;
Then fell, for they had fully done their part.
She, in the manner of her folk unveiled,
Might have been veiled for all he saw of her;
Those sudden eyes, from which he reeled and quailed;
The old life dead, no new life yet astir.
His good steed bore him onward slow and proud:
And through the open lattice still she leant;
I will teach you my townspeople
how to perform a funeral
for you have it over a troop
unless one should scour the world-
you have the ground sense necessary.
See! the hearse leads.
I begin with a design for a hearse.
For Christ's sake not black-
nor white either - and not polished!
Let it be whethered - like a farm wagon -
with gilt wheels (this could be
applied fresh at small expense)
or no wheels at all:
a rough dray to drag over the ground.
Knock the glass out!