These are epigrams by Michael R. Burch and his translations of epigrams by other poets ...
Love is either wholly folly,
or fully holy.
—Michael R. Burch
Love has the value
of gold, if it’s true;
if not, of rue.
—Michael R. Burch
Faces of two eternities keep looking at me.
One is Omar Khayam and the red stuff
wherein men forget yesterday and to-morrow
and remember only the voices and songs,
the stories, newspapers and fights of today.
One is Louis Cornaro and a slim trick
of slow, short meals across slow, short years,
letting Death open the door only in slow, short inches.
I have a neighbor who swears by Omar.
I have a neighbor who swears by Cornaro.
Both are happy.
Why am I full of joy although
It drizzles on the links?
Why am I buying Veuve Cliquot,
And setting up the drinks?
Why stand I like a prince amid
My pals and envy none?
Ye gods of golf! Today I did
A Hole in One.
I drove my ball to heaven high,
It over-topped the hill;
I tried to guess how it would lie,
If on the fairway still.
I climbed the rise, so sure I'd hit
It straight towards the green:
I looked and looked,--no trace of it
Was to be seen.
To Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry;
Today Is Sunday
Today is Sunday.
For the first time they took me out into the sun today.
And for the first time in my life I was aghast
that the sky is so far away
and so blue
and so vast
I stood there without a motion.
Then I sat on the ground with respectful devotion
leaning against the white wall.
Who cares about the waves with which I yearn to roll
Or about strife or freedom or my wife right now.
The soil, the sun and me...
I feel joyful and how.
Translated by Talat Sait Halman
Today I Will Go Once Again
Today I will go once again
Into life, into haggling, into market,
And lead the army of my songs
To duel against the market tide.
This is To-day, a child in white and blue
Running to meet me out of Night who stilled
The ghost of Yester-eve; this is fair Morn
The mother of To-morrow. And these clouds
That chase the sunshine over gleaming hills
Are thoughts, delighting in the golden change
And the ceremony of their drifting state.
This is To-day. To-morrow might bring death,—
And Life, the gleeful madrigal of birds,
Be drowned in glimmer of sleep. To-day I know
How sweet it is to spend these eyes, and boast
If ever there were a spring day so perfect, so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
To Thyrza And Thou Art Dead
And thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
And form so soft and charm so rare
Too soon returned to Earth!
Though Earth received them in her bed,
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,
There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.
I will not ask where thou liest low,
Nor gaze upon the spot;
There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
So I behold them not:
It is enough for me to prove
That what I loved, and long must love,
To the Temple I Repair
To Thy temple I repair;
Lord, I love to worship there
When within the veil I meet
Christ before the mercy seat.
I through Him am reconciled,
I through Him become Thy child.
Abba, Father, give me grace
In Thy courts to seek Thy face.
While Thy glorious praise is sung,
Touch my lips, unloose my tongue,
That my joyful soul may bless
Christ the Lord, my Righteousness.
While the prayers of saints ascend,
God of Love, to mine attend.
Hear me, for Thy Spirit pleads;