Advice To A Son – Ernest Hemingway

Never trust a white man,
Never kill a Jew,
Never sign a contract,
Never rent a pew.
Don’t enlist in armies;
Nor marry many wives;
Never write for magazines;
Never scratch your hives.
Always put paper on the seat,
Don’t believe in wars,
Keep yourself both clean and neat,
Never marry whores.
Never pay a blackmailer,
Never go to law,
Never trust a publisher,
Or you’ll sleep on straw.
All your friends will leave you
All your friends will die
So lead a clean and wholesome life
And join them in the sky.

I Am Not Yours – Sara Teasdale

How many times should I read to understand this…

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love – put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

Sonnet written on Shivratri – Maharaja Karan Singh

The mount Kailash, upon whose snowy height
a figure broods, inscrutable and still,
but charged with vibrant power that seems to fill
the universe with glory and light,
the eyes half closed, the body pure and bright
like to the sun which from the distant hill
its golden homage pays, as angels thrill
to gaze upon the grandeur of His might;
The matted locks wherefrom the Ganga flows
down to the earth, the chant of sacred hymns,
the trident and the drum adorn the snows,
the serpents twist and twine on ashen limbs;
He is the Lord who life and death bestows,
the Sea of Light in which the cosmos swims.

The Tragedy of Afghanistan – Theodor Fontane(Trans Gabriele Campbell)

Snow like powder from the sky softly falls,
When before Djelalabad a rider halts.
“Who’s there” – “A cavalrist from Britain’s army
A message from Afghanistan I carry.”

Afghanistan. So weakly he’d said.
Half the town around him had met;
The British commander, Sir Robert Sale,
Helped to dismount the man whose face was so pale.

Into a guard-house they guided him
And made him sit at the fire’s brim;
How warm was the fire, how bright was its shine,
He takes a deep breath, and begins to explain.

“Thirteen thousand men we had been,
When our outset from Kabul was seen -
Now soldiers, leaders, women and bairn
They are betrayed, and frozen and slain.

“Dispersed is the entire host,
Who is alive, in the darkness is lost.
A God to me salvation has sent -
To save the rest you may make an attempt.”

Sir Robert ascends the castle wall,
And soldiers and officers follow him all,
Sir Robert speaks: “How dense the snow falls,
How hard they may seek, they’ll never see the walls.

“Like blindfold they’ll err and yet are so near,
The way to their safety, now let it them hear,
Play songs of old, of the homeland so bright;
Bugler, let thy tune carry far in the night.”

And they played and sang, and time passed by,
Song over song through the night they let fly,
The songs of their home so far and so dear,
And old Highland laments so mournful to hear.

They played all night and the following day,
They played like only love made them play;
The songs were still heard, but darkness did fall.
In vain is your watch, in vain is your call.

Those who should hear, they’ll hear nevermore,
Destroyed, dispersed is the proud host of yore;
With thirteen thousand their trail they began.
Only one man returned from Afghanistan.

The German Original – Das Trauerspiel von Afghanistan

Der Schnee leis stäubend vom Himmel fällt,
Ein Reiter vor Dschellalabad hält,
“Wer da!” – “Ein britischer Reitersmann,
Bringe Botschaft aus Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan! Er sprach es so matt;
Es umdrängt den Reiter die halbe Stadt,
Sir Robert Sale, der Kommandant,
Hebt ihn vom Rosse mit eigener Hand.

Sie führen ins steinerne Wachthaus ihn,
Sie setzen ihn nieder an den Kamin,
Wie wärmt ihn das Feuer, wie labt ihn das Licht,
Er atmet hoch auf und dankt und spricht:

“Wir waren dreizehntausend Mann,
Von Kabul unser Zug begann,
Soldaten, Führer, Weib und Kind,
Erstarrt, erschlagen, verraten sind.

Zersprengt ist unser ganzes Heer,
Was lebt, irrt draußen in Nacht umher,
Mir hat ein Gott die Rettung gegönnt,
Seht zu, ob den Rest ihr retten könnt.”

Sir Robert stieg auf den Festungswall,
Offiziere, Soldaten folgten ihm all’,
Sir Robert sprach: “Der Schnee fällt dicht,
Die uns suchen, sie können uns finden nicht.

Sie irren wie Blinde und sind uns so nah,
So laßt sie’s hören, daß wir da,
Stimmt an ein Lied von Heimat und Haus,
Trompeter blast in die Nacht hinaus!”

Da huben sie an und sie wurden’s nicht müd’,
Durch die Nacht hin klang es Lied um Lied,
Erst englische Lieder mit fröhlichem Klang,
Dann Hochlandslieder wie Klagegesang.

Sie bliesen die Nacht und über den Tag,
Laut, wie nur die Liebe rufen mag,
Sie bliesen – es kam die zweite Nacht,
Umsonst, daß ihr ruft, umsonst, daß ihr wacht.

Die hören sollen, sie hören nicht mehr,
Vernichtet ist das ganze Heer,
Mit dreizehntausend der Zug begann,
Einer kam heim aus Afghanistan.