Monday, August 16, 2010

Elene XI

Then were those miracles, which the Lord of Armies, the Teacher of Life,
had wrought as a soul-saving for the kindred of humans, for the folk
remembering in their spirit, as they ever must do.* Then there the deceitful
fiend rose hovering on the wind. Then this hell-devil began to cry out,
a terrible demon, mindful of evil things: (894-901)

“What man is this, huh—who again destroys my retinue
through this ancient conflict, increasing the old enmity,
robbing me of my possessions? This is a perpetual strife—
evil-doing souls are not allowed to dwell in my keeping for long.
Now comes this stranger, who I had accounted before fixed in his sins—
now he has deprived me of all of my rights and my rents. This is no fair journey. (902-10)

“The Savior has done me many harms, many grievous grudges,
him who was reared in Nazareth. As soon as he grew from childhood,
he always turned my possessions over to them. Nor may any now
succeed by right. His realm is broad across middle-earth.
Mine is reduced, my authority under the heavens.
I don’t need that cross to be praised in exultation. (911-19a)

“Harumph! The Savior has often closed me in a narrow house,
as miserable pain! I had been hopeful through a Judas before, and
now I am humbled, lacking my goods also through this Judas,
flecked and friendless. Immediately I know how to find
redress afterwards through slanderous words—
from the houses of the accursed I will awake against you
another king, who will persecute your people,
and he will abandon your teachings and follow my wicked practices
and then he will send you into the darkest and worst of terrible torments,
so that you, afflicted with pains, renounce firmly
the Hanged King, whom you once obeyed.” (919b-33)

Wise-minded Judas answered him then, a warrior bold for battle
—the Holy Ghost was firmly commended to him, his fire-hot love
wisdom welling through the wisdom of prophets—
and spoke with a word, filled with wisdom:
“You need not so strongly renew your wounds and raise a conflict,
evil lord of murders, mindful of your sins, so that the Mighty King
he who wakens many of the dead with one word, hurls you,
sin-working and reft of glory, down into the abyss, into the ground of torment.
Know more readily that you have relinquished unwisely
the brightest light and the love of the Lord, that joy more fair
and afterwards dwelled in a flaming bath encircled with torments
and burnt with fire and there you must always, contrary-thinking,
endure damnation, a misery without an end.” (934-52a)

Elene heard how the fiend and her friend raised battle,
on two sides, the glory-blessed and the wicked,
the sinning and the innocent. Her heart was gladder
because she heard that hell-harmer overcome, the dispenser of crimes,
and then she marveled at the wisdom of Judas,
how he was so full of faith in such a short time,
and formerly so ignorant, now endowed with such wisdom.
She thanked God the Glory-King, because her desire
had come to pass through the Child of God in each of two ways
both in the sight of that victory-tree and of the faith that she knew
so clearly, a glory-fast gift in the breast of that man. (952b-66)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Elene X (completed)

Here is the full translation of part ten. I have reorganized the posts on the full translation of Elene in order to accommodate the full number of text divisions in the poem. I'm really happy with how the translation is coming now that work upon it is proceeding steadily.


Then from that very spot a vapor arose,
such a smoke beneath the heavens.
There was lifted the man’s breast-heart.
With both hands raised high, he clapped, blessed and law-wise.
Judas spoke, astute in thought: “Now I have perceived
in my obstinate mind that you are truly the Healer of Middle-earth.
Let there be, God of Powers sitting in majesty, praises without end
that you have revealed to me through your glory,
so miserable and sin-wrought, the mysteries of fate. (802-12)

“Now I wish to ask you, Child of God, Joy-Giver to Armies,
now that I know that you were revealed and conceived
the Majesty of all Kings, to be mindful of my faults no more,
O Creator, which I have done no few times against you.
Allow me, God of Might, to abide amid some portion of the blessed
among the reckoned number of your kingdom,
in their bright city where my brother is honored in glory,
Stephen, who held a pledge with you, and though he was killed by stoning,
he has the reward of warriors, the profit without cease.
There is revealed in books of scripture the wonders that he wrought.” (813-26)

Then joyful Judas dug into the earth, resolute in his courage,
after that Tree of Glory under the covering of turf,
so that at a depth of twenty feet he found the hidden treasure
deep below the abyss, hidden beneath its dark coffer.
He discovered there three crosses together in that sorrowful home,
buried in the dirt just as they had been covered over with earth
in days gone by, by a impious band, the kin of Judea.
They heaved up their malice against God's child—they never would have
unless they had heeded the lessons of Author of Crimes. (827-38)

Then was Judas’s heart-thoughts greatly elated,
his mind strengthened, his inner heart inspired by that holy tree,
after seeing that symbol holy beneath the earth.
He grasped with his hands the joy-beam of glory,
and heaved it up among the army from its earthen grave.
The strangers went forth on foot, nobles into the city. (839-45)

Then they set down the three victory-beams, apparent to see,
before the knee of Elene, warriors resolute and courageous.
The queen rejoiced in her heart’s mind and inquired of them
upon which of those crosses it was that the Wielder’s Son,
the holy Giver of Hope was hanged.
“So,we have heard it through blessed books, revealed by signs,
that two others suffered with him, and he was the third himself
upon the rood tree. All the heavens darkened at that cruel moment.
Say, if you know, upon which of these three the Prince of Angels,
suffered, the Guardian of Majesty.” (846-58)

Nor could Judas clearly reveal to her, for he knew not readily,
upon which of those Triumph-trees the Savior had been hanged,
the Victorious Child of God—not before he ordered them
to be set up in the middle of that famous city, trees amid the tumult,
and there waited until the King Almighty should unveil
a miracle before the multitude, about the Tree of Glory. (859-66)

They sat down, the counsel-deliberators triumph-famous,
and lifted up a song about the three crosses until the ninth hour,
when they felt a fresh joy, an encounter with glory.
Then there came no small crowd of people, a throng of men,
bringing a young man upon a bier recently without spirit,
having had traveled onwards. It was the ninth hour. (867-74a)

Then was Judas greatly elated in his mind. He ordered that they
set down the soulless man, the body deprived of life and unstirring,
upon the ground and, deep-thinking, heaved up two of those crosses,
the revealer of right spirit-wise, in his embrace over that fated house.
The body was still dead, just as before, a corpse fast upon its couch.
His limbs cooled, covered over by that cruel necessity. (874b-83a)

Then the third cross was raised, blessed. The corpse was waiting
until the beam of that Noble was areared over him, the Heaven-King’s,
the true Symbol of Victory. The man immediately arose,
equipped with his soul—together both together—body and soul.
There were praises sent high fair amid the folk.
The Father was worthied and the True Son of the Sovereign
was praised wordfully. Let glory and thanks be his
eternally without end from all of creation! (883b-93)