reply to post by Saurus
It's very difficult to translate protoMishnaic Hebrew poetry into 21st century American English very accurately - but here is a very rough
equivalent of what the Hebrew actually means in terms of the images it is trying to portray - a far cry from the King James mess which catches very
few of the sexual puns of the original (naturally !)
"Young man, keep in mind the image of your own Grave while you are still young – yea, long before you grow old and start complaining that your life
is no longer pleasurable !
Yea, hold the Image of your own Coffin always before you long before the days when what’s left of your eyes (thick with dripping cataracts) start to
make the sun at noon to look like a dark storm is coming - or when the light of the full Moon starts to look like dim Starlight.
Call its image to mind long before your two Legs (once like Sentries guarding your Castle) start to wobble and teeter - or before your shoulders
(once like two very strong men) begin to stoop and hunch over.
Summon its image to you long before your few remaining teeth (once so many loyal servants) stop their ability to chew ; and long before your two eyes,
which once looked like two beautiful women standing in a window, start losing their ability to see out of them.
Yea, remember the Pit before the Door to life’s Opportunities is closed to you forever and the hum of business starts gradually fading away to a
For now in your Youth, you are accustomed to rise from your bed at the first chirping of the birds in the morning – but, as you age, beware: their
chirping will start to sound fainter and fainter and fainter.
Therefore hold on to the image of She’ol while you are still not afraid of climbing even very small hills, or before you start to believe that
simply by crossing a small street you're taking your life into your hands !
Yea, start doing it now, before your hair turns white as an almond tree in full-bloom, and you find yourself dragging your trunk along (without
energy)all by yourself - like an old grasshopper unable to join in the buzz of Society – or at a time when even Caperberry extract can no longer
allow you to 'get it up' in bedroom.
Remember your Tomb long before you are ready to enter the Grave yourself, which is, when all is said and done, your everlasting home – don’t wait
until the very last minute – when the mourners have already started preparing their wailing-songs !
Therfore, my son, recall to your mind the Image of your own future Coffin now - while you are still young -- before your once bright silver semen
stops its flux and your worn out bladder starts to leak yellow water all over the place - whatever you do, don’t wait until you are totally
incontinent – for at that point you are too near the time when your body’s flesh will begin to return to the earth as dust, and your spirit will
return to the gods (Heb. 'elohim) who granted life to you in the first place…”
Catches the spirit of the original, anyway...a literal translation of ancient poetry is..well, untranslatable !