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)

No comments: