quinta-feira, 22 de julho de 2010

Litel gold in cofre

A clerk ther was of Oxenford also,
That unto logyk hadde longe ygo.
As leene was his hors as is a rake,
And he nas nat right fat, I undertake,
But looked holwe, and therto sobrely.
Ful thredbare was his overeste courtepy;
For he hadde geten hym yet no benefice,
Ne was so worldly for to have office.
For hym was levere have at his beddes heed
Twenty bookes, clad in blak or reed,
Of Aristotle and his philosophie,
Than robes riche, or fithele, or gay sautrie.
But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre;
But al that he myghte of his freendes hente,
On bookes and on lernynge he it spente,
And bisily gan for the soules preye
Of hem that yaf hym wherwith to scoleye.
Of studie took he moost cure and moost heede,
Noght o word spak he moore than was neede,
And that was seyd in forme and reverence,
And short and quyk and ful of hy sentence;
Sownynge in moral vertu was his speche,
And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche.

(The General Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, lines 285-308. A modern translation can be found here.)

sábado, 10 de julho de 2010

There was a time

There was a time when to our view
This dull old world looked fresh and new,
And you loved me and I loved you,
There was a time.

There was a time when young and gay
We frolicked through the livelong day,
And all our whole year was one May,
There was a time.

There was a time we did not dream
That things are other than they seem
And with delusive lustre gleam,
There was a time.

There was a time we had not yet
Learned to fume and cark and fret
And thankless riches hardly get,
There was a time.

There was a time — but it is past;
The child's become a man at last,
And age and death are coming fast,
There was a time.

(James Henry)

sábado, 3 de julho de 2010

Ash fast ash you tesire

Charles G. Leland, To a Friend Studying German

Vill'st dou learn die Deutsche Sprache?
Denn set it on your card,
Dat all the nouns have shenders,
Und de shenders all are hard.
Dere ish also dings called pronoms,
Vitch id's shoost ash vell to know;
Boot ach! de verbs or time-words—
Dey'll work you bitter woe.

Will'st dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
Denn you allatag moost go
To sinfonies, sonatas,
Or an oratorio.
Vhen you dinks you knows 'pout musik,
More ash any other man,
Be sure de soul of Deutschland
Into your soul ish ran.

Will'st dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
Dou moost eat apout a peck
A week, of stinging sauerkraut,
Und sefen pfoundts of speck.
Mit Gott knows vot in vinegar,
Und deuce knows vot in rum:
Dis ish de only cerdain vay
To make de accents coom.

Will'st dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
Brepare dein soul to shtand
Soosh sendences ash ne'er vas heardt
In any oder land.
Till dou canst make parentheses
Intwisted—ohne zahl—
Dann wirst du erst Deutschfertig seyn,
For a languashe ideál.

Will'st dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
Du must mitout an fear
Trink afery tay an gallon dry,
Of foamin Sherman bier.
Und de more you trinks, pe certain,
More Deutsch you'll surely pe;
For Gambrinus ish de Emperor
Of de whole of Germany.

Will'st dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
Be sholly, brav, und treu,
For dat veller ish kein Deutscher
Who ish not a sholly poy.
Find out vot means Gemüthlichkeit,
Und do it mitout fail,
In Sang und Klang dein Lebenlang,
A brick—ganz kreuzfidél.

Will'st dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
If a shendleman dou art,
Denn shtrike right indo Deutschland,
Und get a schveetes heart.
From Schwabenland or Sachsen
Vhere now dis writer pees;
Und de bretty girls all wachsen
Shoost like aepples on de drees.

Boot if dou bee'st a laty,
Denn on de oder hand,
Take a blonde moustachioed lofer
In de vine green Sherman land.
Und if you shoost kit married
(Vood mit vood soon makes a vire),
You'll learn to sprechen Deutsch mein kind,
Ash fast ash you tesire.