This is my translation of an early English example of the "ubi sunt" or "where are they now" genre of poetry.


My translation of “Ubi Sunt Qui Ante Nos Fuerunt?”

Excerpt from “Ubi Sunt Qui Ante Nos Fuerunt?”
anonymous Middle English poem, circa 1275
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Where are the men who came before us,
who led hounds and hawks to the hunt,
who commanded fields and woods?

Where are the elegant ladies in their boudoirs
who braided gold through their hair
and had such fair complexions?

Once eating and drinking gladdened their hearts;
they enjoyed their games;
men bowed before them;
they bore themselves loftily ...
But then, in an eye’s twinkling,
they were gone.

Where, now, are their laughter and their songs,
the trains of their dresses,
the arrogance of their entrances and exits,
their hawks and their hounds?

All their joy has vanished;
their “well” has come to “oh, well”
and to many dark days ...





Poetry by Michael R. Burch The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2021-06-11 at 03:07

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Michael R. Burch The PoetBay support member heart!
The "ubi sunt" or "where are they now" genre has a long tradition in poetry. This is one of my personal favorites. Thanks as always for taking the time to read and comment, to you both.
2021-06-12


Coo & Co The PoetBay support member heart!
Ooh yes; excellent, Mike. A sort of hearkening back to a golden age, perhaps, very much enjoyed :>)
2021-06-11


Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Yours or someone else's, it's a nice poem.
2021-06-11