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.

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