Below are some poems I’ve written. I’ve also – however poorly – translated some ancient Chinese poems into Latin.
Olim in Aeternum Perpetitur
Ten thousand cent’ries ev’ry time
Is ev’ry second without thee.
Tho’ drought and flood assail my heart
Yet in my soul, a foaming sea,
The deepest cavern has thy name
Inscribed upon the inner-place,
Thy name entwined with God’s in love,
Reflected in the water’s face.
How should I say what I would say to you,
Though by my word in faithfulness ’tis true,
That kindles flame and pounds the heart anew?
Begone, o heart! But still it could not sue:
When thousand razor-leaves had piercèd through
Forsake eternal love it would not do.
For many times I’d questioned God His will:
Was this for good, or was’t for work of ill?
Far better not to let for heartstrings taut
Than melt two hearts with harp and break for naught,
So wound the marrow more than mocking scorn:
I would not live to leave your bosom torn.
Withal our lot for purposes divine
Is made; we’ve only thus a lucid sign
To do with what is giv’n. Long years I prayed
To God to lead me to the one He bade.
For us He answered in His chosen time,
Transforming us to oak and lime—
To bud in wintry blasts and storms,
And weather trials, toils and fears;
To hear and follow joyfully
By faith wherever our Lord steers;
To grow together intertwined,
With golden honey to impart;
To love, to cherish in this life
Till sleeping death do then us part.
© 2006 Lue-Yee Tsang
Columns of marble mightily lie;
Bare in the sun, they stand alone,
Raised but yesterday. The years rolled by
In relentless lease. Lifeless pillars
Of finished days, fayed and gleaming
They stand in silence. Sorrow they remember
Of cities once living, now long gone.
They once enshrined the shelves of learning,
Courts of knowledge, in classical grace.
Beautiful no more: in breathless silence
They faintly utter fossil groans,
Cheerless whispers. Wind-swept terraces
Stark and naked sternly weigh
The vanity of it all. For vainglorious
Pursuit of glory, graceless prizes,
A ponderous price. Proud was the race
That forgotten lay, learned and versed
In elder lore. Aloft in the dust,
Such was it now. By the smoky dusk,
Formed in fury, in profound inanity,
in grasping avarice, was golden perversion
Of thirst for truth. For thick in jealousy
They forgot the God that galled their conceit;
With ash-marked hearts they hastened away
To ruinous folly. Raining torrents
Crashed on crowns, and counsels, prophecies,
To no avail, a voiceless plea.
Then wretched scorn skulked in darkness
And reared in plain-clash. Poison flowed;
Hatred ran in rivers of blood.
Bitter war, the wasteland of the mind,
Does even eclipse the conscience’s light,
As a thousand arrows from thew to sinew
Obscure the dawn, the sky in cedar,
To fierce war-shouts of wolves in arms,
Whose stinging swords strew carnage
Across a field of wildflowers with wild savagery.
And the renowned fell t’ ignoble death,
Stained, deserted, to resolve no more
Of knowledge unfound. Anabasis empty!
No monument of bronze, but mockery and death.
Thus lie the dead, in death forsaken.
© 2007 Lue-Yee Tsang