The HyperTexts

Some of the Best Cherokee Poems, Proverbs and Blessings

with modern English translations by Michael R. Burch

These are my translations of the best Cherokee poems, proverbs and blessings that I have been able to find to date. I translated the poems in honor of my father, Paul Ray Burch Jr., when he entered hospice and the final stage of his life.



Cherokee Travelers' Blessing
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I will extract the thorns from your feet.
For a little while, we will walk life's beckoning paths together.
I will love you like my own brother, my own blood.
When you are disconsolate, I will wipe the tears from your eyes.
And when you are too sad to live, I will put your aching heart to rest.



Cherokee Travelers' Blessing
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Happily may you walk
in the paths of the Rainbow.
                  Oh,
and may it always be beautiful before you,
beautiful behind you,
beautiful below you,
beautiful above you,
and beautiful all around you
where in Perfection beauty is finished.



Cherokee Travelers' Blessing
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

May Heaven’s warming winds blow gently there,
where you reside,
and may the Great Spirit bless all those you care for,
this side of the farther tide.
And when you go,
whether the journey is fast or slow,
may your moccasins leave many cunning footprints in the snow.
And when you look over your shoulder, may you always find the Rainbow.



Cherokee Proverbs
loose translations by Michael R. Burch

The soul would see no Rainbows if not for the eyes’ tears.

A woman’s highest calling is to help her man unite with the Source.
A man’s highest calling is to help his woman walk the earth unharmed.

A brave man dies but once, a coward many times.

Don't judge a man unless you've walked two moons in his moccasins.

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