Gedichte & Lyrik über die Elemente


Traditionelles Gedicht über die Elemente auf Englisch

The following is a traditional teaching-poem about the Elements, still used in a few provinces of ch'Rihan. The original is written in a Rihannsu form of poetry called cyclic verse, which consists of two or more stanzas, usually in the same length and format, discussing different aspects of the same thing or describing one idea from several viewpoints. The order of the stanzas in cyclic verse is arbitrary, since they are all equal. This is only one of several possible English translations, since many Rihannsu words and idioms have no exact English equivalent.




. . . Four Elements are there.
In star's heart and heart's desire
Here burns Fire–

Leaping, dancing flames give warmth, give light,
Entice us — but venture not too close,
For Fire gives death too, to we who live,
And those who play with Fire are always burned.
Never truly tame, unstoppable once loosed,
Wildfires and atom bombs, lightning and supernovae
Destroy. But Fire also builds;
Sunfire, starfire, lifefire in our nerves,
And the fire in our hearts,
Our passions: love, joy, loyalty,
Treachery, hatred, despair all feed our power.
Its blaze consumes, searing away
All pretense, leaving truth amidst the ashes.
In crises, it is our sudden strength,
Giving all, unambivalent, holding nothing back.
Its brilliance blinds, an inferno,
And in one moment of glory
Fire burns hot
And burns out–




. . . Four Elements are there.
Reckless and wild, without a care
Here blows Air–

Capricious winds control the sky,
Bring storms and clear skies, heat and cold,
Bring flood and drought — we know not why,
Nor can predict, Air's next direction.
Change is its essence, chaos its ally,
For Air cannot be captured, confined, controlled
But breaks all bonds, and flies off free
Leaving behind we who dare not follow,
Bound by rules of life and law
Resisting that which cannot be —
Though Air gives us our breath, our very life,
Our words, our songs, our soaring, daring flight
Into the unknown — the unknowable.
But it promises nothing, and those who jump blind
Off a precipice may fall instead of soar.
Air knows no past, nor future,
But in the ever-changing now
Air blows wild
And blows free–




. . . Four Elements are there.
In secret depths, Poseidon's daughter
Here flows Water–

The river runs cold, clean, and clear,
Down to the sea, following its path
For all Eternity — aye, Water goes on
As it always has, indifferent to the living.
We concern it not. But still it is
The Water of Life, for ocean, primeval, pristine,
Our common birthplace, nourishes us still.
And Water's deep calm reason calls, seduces
To submerge ourselves wholly in its pure abstract beauty,
Oblivious, as Water, to all else.
But beware — though 'tis indeed a useful tool
Remember now that reason is indifferent
And Water makes tears too.
While we are mortal, we cannot walk on Water;
We drown. And Water, caring not
What we may try, continues, ceaseless,
Doing Time's work
Water flows pure
And flows on–




. . . Four Elements are there.
Eternal rock to life gives birth
Here stands Earth–

Mountains rise to pierce the sky.
The horizon's rulers, challenged but briefly,
Never defeated. Earth has risen so
Ere any memory, and still shall rise
When all else has passed, faded, and gone.
Beneath our feet, above our heads,
In soil or diamonds, still it is there.
Earth surrounds us always, our cradle and grave,
Dust to dust — though lives may end
Life is renewed, through Earth's agency.
Thus we endure, through fire, flood, and storm,
Through fear and despair, Earth remains strong.
Creatures of clay, we may be molded, or killed —
But not destroyed. Earth endures unchanged,
Through all such attacks, strengthened by trials.
Giver of life, foundation of the world
Our one sure support
Earth stands firm
And stands ever–