Saturday, June 13, 2009

More from Juliana, part III

Yet more from Juliana. I am rapidly approaching the halfway mark, and feel that I am hitting my stride with the voice and language.


She swiftly asked then, she who was unafraid, pleasing to Christ,
whence his origins were. To her the wrack-kin replied:
I am an angel of God sailing from above,
a noble thane, and to you sent holy from the heights.
For you severe tortures with slaughter-grim wounds are decreed
as deadly punishment. God orders you be commanded,
child of the Wielder, to protect yourself from them." (258-66)

Juliana was then, on account of its fearful message to her,
terrified by that monster, the terror that spoke in words,
the adversary of glory. Then she firmly fastened her spirit,
the young and innocent woman, and called out to God:
“Now I wish to ask you, O Shelter of Warriors, Eternal Almighty,
by the noble creation that you, Father of Angels, established at the start,
do no permit me to turn aside from the praise of your blessed gift,
as this herald who stands before me bids me with his fear-spell.
So I wish to ask you, gentle Lord, the Glory of Kings, to reveal
what this thane might be, bouncing in the breeze,
and who instructs me upon a rough road away from you.” (267-86)

Then the heart of Juliana was gladdened, judgment-blessed.
She grabbed that devil… (287-8)

[at least one folio is missing from the Exeter Book at this point]

…. to sell the King of All Kings unto his death.
Moreover, I contrived it so that champion wounded the Wielder
while the multitude watched, so that both blood and water
sought the earth together there. Moreover, I incited
Herod in his heart so that he ordered the head of John the Baptist
be cut off when the holy man rebuked him wordfully
for his wife-love and his unlawful marriage.*
Also I instructed, guile-minded, Simon Magus to raise strife
against Christ’s chosen thanes and stretch out slander
to the holy men through deep error saying that they were sorcerers. (289-301)

“I endeavored with evil tricks when I seduced Nero
to order Christ’s thanes Peter and Paul be killed and,
before, Pontius Pilate with my teachings to hang
the Wielder of Heaven upon the cross, the Mighty Maker.
Likewise I instructed Ægias to unwisely order
Andrew to be hung upon a high tree, so that he sent
his spirit up from the gallows into the Face of Glory.
Thus have I performed so many wrathful bales with my brothers,
dark with sins, that I cannot relate them all or tell them fully
nor count the number of torments, the grim hate-thoughts. (302-16a)

The holy woman answered him by the Spirit's gift, Juliana:
“You must speak further yet, Enemy of Mankind,
of your mission here, and of who send you to me.” (315b-8)

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Section breaks

More lines from Juliana appear below, this time with the Exeter Book's own section breaks preserved. According to Muir's the Exeter Anthology of Old English Poetry, new sections (chapters, fitts, call them what you like) in the poem are demarcated by skipping a line and then starting the new line with a large capital letter followed by a smaller initial. Translations of the poem vary in their breaks, from Marie Nelson's unbroken stichic presentation to Bradley's divisions by sense. It seems better to, like with the Guthlac translation, to respect the manuscript's division when possible.

Enjoy! And let me what you think about the translation, my lurking friends. :)



Then it seemed base to the folk-leader to be unable
to turn the heart of that woman, or her intentions.
He ordered her to be seized by the hair
ad heaved up onto a high branch, where
she, sun-bright, should suffer blows, strife unstintingly fierce
for six hours of the day, and he ordered her forthwith
to be taken down again and he commanded her be led to prison.
Within her was the praise of Christ fast wound within her heart-lock;*
in her mild heart, a strength unbroken. (225-35)

The prison door was bolted closed then by the work of hammers.
The holy woman abode within pledge-fast. Always she praised
the Glory-King in her heart, Heaven-realm’s God, the Savior of Men,
within her constraining cell, covered with darkness.
The Holy Spirit was her enduring companion. (235-42a)

Then came suddenly into the closed hall the enemy of heroes
skilled in evil. He wore the shape of an angel—
a soul’s foe skilled in afflicting songs, a captive of Hell,
who spoke to the sainted one: “What do you suffer,
dearest and most worthy to the Glory-King, our Lord?
This deemer has prepared the worst tortures for you,
endless pain, if you do not wish, wise-minded, to make sacrifice
and propitiate his gods. Be hasty, as he orders you led out hence,
so that you quickly offer up some gift, a victory offering,
before you seize your death, a murder before his multitude.
Then you shall escape the judge’s ire, blessed virgin.” (242b-257)

She swiftly asked then, she who was unafraid, pleasing to Christ,
whence his origins were. To her the wrack-kin replied:
I am an angel of God sailing from above,
a noble thane, and to you sent holy from the heights.
For you severe tortures with slaughter-grim wounds are decreed
as deadly punishment. God orders you be commanded,
child of the Wielder, to protect yourself from them." (258-66)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

More Juliana

Work on Juliana continues. The lines below conclude the second part of the poem:


Unafraid she then gave him answer through spiritual thought,
Juliana: “Never will you persuade me to promise tribute
by hypocrisy unto deaf and dumb devil-idols, the enemies of souls,
the worst thanes of torture but I will worship the Lord of Glory,
of Middle-earth and of Power Majestic—
and to him alone do I entrust all things, that he may become
my protector, my helper and savior against the hell-harmers.” (147-57)

Then Affricanus wrathfully delivered her, the father of that woman,
into the power of her enemy, Eleusius.
He ordered her at daybreak to be led unto his judgment-seat.
The crowd was astonished at the woman’s beauty, the people all together.
Then noble Eleusius greeted her at first, her bridegroom,
with soothing words: “My sweetest shone of sun, Juliana!
What gleam you have! What perpetual plenitude of grace!
What fruit of youth’s kind! If you will serve our gods yet
and betake yourself to their protection so mild,
the succor of sainted ones, then shall be turned aside from you
innumerable tortures cruelly contrived, savage sorrows that are
prepared for you if you do not wish to sacrifice unto our true gods.” (158-74)

Him the noble maid gave answer: “Never will you constrain me
with your threats, nor will you prepare torments of such great wrath,
that I would love your lord-ship, except if you renounce these false beings,
your idol-worship and recognize wisely the God of Glory,
Creator of Souls, the Maker of Mankind—
in whose power are all created things forever.” (175-83)

Then before the people with an angry mind Eleusius spoke
with boast-words, growing quite infuriated, the folk-owning man,
and he ordered the woman through spite-wrack to be stretched out
naked and sinless and beaten with scourges. (184-8)

The battle-warrior then laughed, speaking sarcastically:
“Thus is the life-domain of our enemy seized at its start!
Yet I will grant you your life, though you first
spoke many unwary words and refused too strongly
to adore the true gods. Your reward for your counter-thinking
must be frightful tortures afterwards, unless you are reconciled
with them, and sacrifice thankworthy gifts unto them—
after your vice-words setting your peace with them. (189-201a)

“Let rest this strife Juliana, this hateful civic infighting.
If you, long after this, through your rashness again
follow perversity, then I must be compelled to revenge,
constrained by hatred, your god-breaking—your grievous strife-speech—
that you with blasphemy began to contend against the best gods
and the most merciful of those that men know,
that this people-hood has long worshipped for themselves.” (201b-8)

Noble Juliana, heart unafraid, spoke to him:
"I do not fear your judgments, accursed harm-doer,
nor your baleful torments. I have as my hope
Heaven-realm's Ward, the Mild Protector, the Wielder of Power,
he who shields me against your shine-play,*
fro the grip of the fierce ones whom you consider your gods.
They are lacking of every good, idle, worthless,
without profit, nor may any man meet with comfort there,
true concord. Though he may seek friendship for himself,
he will not find there help among those devils.
I have affixed my heart in the Lord,
he who over every power rules wide-lived,
Owner of Glory, of every victory—
That is a True King."

* 214) scinlace: Literally "shine-play," but translated by Kennedy and Bradley as 'delusion(s),' and defined by Woolf as 'delusion, rage.' Clark-Hall defines the word as 'sorcery, magic, superstition' and adds the above definitions. The word must be derived from the same idea as "glamour," a magical spell, and is ancestor to "moonshine" as a wild idea or what gives those wild ideas. I decided to leave the strange kenning as is for the moment until I can think of something that alliterates and seems more communicative.