Saturday, April 24, 2010

Elene continues

Here is more from the Elene translation, which is literally pouring out onto the page.


Likewise the shelter of noblemen ordered then, the ring-giver
of warriors, just as he saw that sign, the battle-first of his armies,
that had been revealed to him, Constantine, the glory-blessed king,
that token, the cross of Christ, to be wrought with the greatest haste.
He commanded then in the dawning at the first of day
the warriors to be roused and the weapon-clash,
to heave up the sword-banners, and that holy tree
to be carried before them into the crowd of their enemies,
to bear the symbol of God. The trumpets sang loud
before the army. The raven rejoiced these works,
dewy-feathered, the eagle observed this journeying,
the slaughter-cruel warriors. The wolf hove his song up,
the companion of the woods. The terror of battle stood tall. (99-113)

There was the crack of shields and the pack of warriors,
the harsh hand-swing and the armies’ slaughtering,
after they met first the spraying of missiles.
Onto that fated folk the showers of arrows,
spears over yellow shields onto the throng of the fearsome,
the haters sword-grim, the venomous battle-darts
through the power of fingers sent forth.
The resolute warriors advanced, sometimes pressing forward,
sometimes breaking the shield cover, piercing it with blades
thronging battle-bold. Then was that plumed banner raised,
the standard before the squadron, singing the cry of victory.

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