The Quatrains of Nostradamus: A Poem
Amb Kanwal Sibal

From where the golden orb rises far away in the east
And the inhabitants have a pallid look,
With eyes that run like slender arcs across the face
And cheeks that gently rise from it like soft mounds,

Where from mountains run rivers of yellow tincture,
Where the earth often trembles under the feet and brings death,
And endless walls weave across the hills like serpents
And smiling gods with well rounded stomachs are worshipped,

From land of women singing in high pitched voices
That pierce through the tympanic membrane like knives,
Where music is plangent, plaintive like plucked strings,
Where the beauteous gender have stunted feet to avoid gaze,

Where a stone soft and oily is shaped into shapes exotic,
From where powder is transformed into profiles with motifs unique,
Where the curved ends of tusks of big eared creatures get carved,
And segmented worms envelop themselves in gentle softness,

From Huaxia where strings slither into throats with twin sticks,
And rounded dough filled with bamboo shoots breathes steam,
Where fowls that paddle in water are glazed red on fire
And the excretions from avian beaks is prized in liquids,

Where canines live short lives except stone-carved in Leizhou,
Where winged creatures of the night that fly blind are boiled,
And limbless reptiles and arachnids go into gullets,
Where scouring creatures with eye-rings end in guts,

Where sheep is yang and the water buffalo heralds spring,
Black tortoise of longevity presages the cold winter,
The white tiger with courage guards the West,
Phenix, the red bird of virtue and duty guards the South,

And Dragon, its husband, lives with it in wedded delight.
The pheasant is sovereign with its literary refinement.
Where the peacock walks in dignity and beauty and brings fame,
And the winged one-horn lion Tianlu guards the tombs in pairs,

Where the parrot warns you not be faithless,
The panda is a man and the owl harbinger of death,
Where the monkey drives away the evil spirit
And the goose sends messages of marital bliss.

The grasshopper is nobility and heron with lotus success,
Horse is perseverance, magpie is unity,
Dove fidelity, the eagle strength, the kingfisher peace,
Lobster regeneration and eel fertility,

Fish is abundance, the golden carp is love,
Crab is advantage in business and social status,
The crane in four colours is determination,
Power and wealth, and the crow is the sun,

Where the cicada is life after death, eternal youth,
Cricket a fighting spirit, and bee is industry,
Where the badger brings great happiness,
And butterflies with the cat sip nectar from peonies,

Where the cock protects the house from fire,
The mantis is a mystery, the money frog brings wealth,
The emperor is a five clawed dragon of male vigour,
Where the leopard is bravery and the lion a holy being,

Where the snake-woman has supernatural powers,
And the shrimp has long life,
The hope-rabbit, optimism-pig, and courage-quail,
Rat and rooster decide men’s fortunes,

So does Chang-Ngo or Heng-E who lives on the moon,
Where Qilin the dragon protects the home with wisdom
With Li Tie Guai of the Eight Immortals riding on its back,
Where the ox brings vernal weather Plum and pine.

From Juizhou will a wave invisible arise and spread mortally
Across the western lands in the year ten toes twice,
It will be Huaxia’s gift wrapped in deadly poison with no cure,
Carried by the denizens of Shenzhou far and wide.

From Kara the wicked with will to dominate the world,
Like trotting hordes that marauded in the westerly direction,
The unseen wind will reach the city built by Insubres, the Celts,
With Belloveso as chief, the Mediolanum of yore, of Vitalia,

Which in future distant will generously host carriers of the wind,
Who in thousands in officina will make calceamenta in corium,
And for fashion use textilia to make falsus vestimentum,
The truth will be hidden under the wraps of mendacium,

And then on to Tuscia, later Viterbo, the city of a struggle
Historic between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines,
That housed Cosimo the Elder, Donatello and Fra Angelico,
With Festina Lente as motto, recalling Gian Gastone de’Medici,

There the sindaco will open the city’s arms to the wind bearers,
Asking the inhabitants to breathe their air into their faces,
Political rectitudo and leftist placitis infectas
Will cause a cavalcade of coffins of those dying in hospitium

It will then descend on the city founded by those who fled Troy,
Where people live like sea birds secured by osier and wattle,
And where the Silk Road ended on the land of Europa,
Thereafter on Gaul, land of Clovis, Martel and Pepin the Short,

The Empire of the Franks, where the proud cock crows,
Where a cloud-touching iron tower will watch as a lonely sentinel
On empty thoroughfares, where the Mona Lisa with cryptic smile,
Will wonder at the fate of restaurants with tribus stellae,

And then its miasma will spread to city founded by Ocno Bianor,
Magerit on the Manzanares river, or Matrice, the Ursalia,
Prey in Iberia later to the Sueves, the Vandals and the Visigoths,
Where those from Cizhou in thousands would form a deadly nucleus,

The ravage will continue in the land of the Angles
That came under the yoke of the rulers of the eternal city,
With memory of Catuvellauni led by Caratacus and Iceni’s queen,
Losing the battles, where Septimius Severus died at Eboracum,

A leader with girth and flaxen mop will take charge,
One prone to pudendal pleasures, too insouciant about the wind,
With upper crust thinking that a stiff upper lip was enough
To face adversity, till the wind will almost blow him away,

The vapour will cross the vast oceans and reach a new land,
Where those with copper skins and bedecked with eagle’s feathers,
From their conical portables wander out to chase herds of bovi
Wrapped in heavy fur around their necks, and send smoke signals,

Those people destroyed, a new people of different hue will emerge,
Gold-obsessed, and with might to set the earth and sky on fire,
They will build dwellings that will disappear into the skies,
And will be Triumphantly ruled by a narcissist with flame hair,

In all these geographies spanning land and water afar
Multitudes will collapse not knowing what they breathed,
Mouths, nose, ears and eyes the creatures will invade,
Fever will burn, cough dry as sand and nothing will smell,

Those carrying the unseen weapon inside them will not know
When their deadly charge will kill those not their enemies,
Coffins will accumulate with no one to mourn and bury,
The world will come to a standstill and death silence will reign,

The land of the gymnasts, of philosophers with closed eyes
In meditation, wondering about the meaning of life,
Seeking the shadow of the planets to protect their future,
Where hymns are sung on the banks of sacred rivers,

The shadow of death will reach there and all will be sequestered,
Its leader from the western reaches with a torso
Matching the pillars of temples where many-limbed deities reign
With hand gestures that guide the energy flow to the brain,

Where the male symbol uniting mind and soul is venerated,
A flying monkey-god carries a verdant hill on his palm,
Where a rotund figure with an elephant head removes all obstacles,
That ruler will ask all to light candles, ring bells and beat pots

At a sacred hour of the day with nine as magical number,
He will galvanise the populace with means not yet known,
Where from great distances not reachable by human eyes and ears
He will be heard and seen in a new form of magic,

Such is the poisonous gift that the Mangi, the Tianchao,
The Zhongyuan of the Yellow River basin, the Zhonghua
At the centre of the world, Yucheng or the Xia,
The Nikan, the Qing Han, the Nangkiyas will give to the world,

Human beings all over, all frightened and cowering with fear,
Will distance themselves from each other, afraid of the bacillus,
This is all foretold by the moon reflected in the sacred pool,
Four centuries and sixty five years hence in the year vingt-vingt.


Image Source: https://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/80/590x/Nostradamus-prediction-Italy-coronavirus-plague-prophecy-COVID19-latest-news-1249539.webp?r=1583249878064

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