Saturday, February 9, 2013

Prayer of the Woods

{royalty free photo}

The Prayer of the Woods
 
I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights,
The friendly shade screening you from the summer sun,
And my fruits are refreshing draughts quenching your thirst as you journey on.
 
I am the beam that holds your house,
 The board of your table, the bed on which you lie,
And the timber that builds your boat.
 
I am the handle of your hoe,
The door of your homestead, the wood of your cradle,
 And the shell of your coffin.
 
I am the bread of kindness and the flower of beauty.
"Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer:
 Harm me not."

{Author Unknown}
 
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I am unsure of the origin of this poem, so if you know, please feel free to share! There is one blog that suggest that it might be a poem that is around 1,000 years old from and Portuguese in origin.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laurel.

    I'm a reader of both your blogs for quite some time now but, and I don't know why, never made a comment. But I'm portuguese and I can shed some light on the origin of that poem: it's called "Ao viandante" which means roughly "to one who passes by" or "to the person who passes through this place" written by Veiga Simões, May de 1914. It's actuallly inscripted in stone near a tree inside the walls of a castle (Castelo de S.Jorge) in our capital city of Lisbon.
    It reads in portuguese:

    Tu que passas e ergues para mim o teu braço,
    Antes que me faças mal. Olha me bem.
    Eu sou o calor do teu lar nas noites frias de inverno
    Eu sou a sombra amiga que tu encontras
    Quando caminhas sob o sol de agosto
    E os meus frutos são a frescura apetitosa
    Que te sacia a sede nos caminhos.
    Eu sou a trave amiga da tua casa, a tábua da tua mesa,
    A cama em que descansas e o lenho do teu barco
    Eu sou o cabo da tua enxada a porta da tua morada,
    A madeira do teu berço e do teu próprio caixão
    Eu sou o pão da bondade e a flor da beleza
    Tu que passas, olha-me bem e não faças mal

    And the closest translation in english I found is:

    You that pass and raise your arm to me
    before you hurt me, look at me well.
    I am the heat of your home in the cold winter nights.
    I am the friendly shade that you find
    when walking under the August sun
    And my fruits are appetizing freshness
    That satisfy your thirst on the way.
    I am the friendly beam of your house, the board of your table
    the bed in which you rest and the wood of your boat.
    I am handle of your hoe, the door of your dwelling
    the wood of your cradle and of your own coffin.
    I am the bread of goodness and the flower of beauty.
    You that pass, look at me well and do no harm.

    I'm so sorry for the long post. Keep up the great blogs, it's an absolute pleasure reading you.

    Joana

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