Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Genesis A XV

Then at once God answered him: “Say to me, my son,
why do you say that you are shaming in the shadows?
You never received shame from me, but joy instead in all things.
For what reason do you know misery and cover yourself in shame,
you sigh in sorrow,* and you conceal your own body
with leaves? You say that life-care, that misery sad at mind,
tells you that you need clothing,* unless you ate the one apple
from that tree that I wordfully forbade you.” (872-81)

And then Adam answered him again:
“The woman gave to me that fruit in my hand,
the beautiful woman, my Lordly God,
which I accepted in insult to you. Now I bear the token
plainly upon my self. I know the more sorrow for it.” (882-86)

Then unto Eve asked the Almighty God: “What have you done,
my daughter, endowed with sufficient glory, of the new creation
of Paradise-plain and its growing gifts, when you coveting grasped
that wood, seized the fruit upon the branch of that tree,
and to my injury ate that harmful thing, gave it to Adam,
that fruit when it was firmly forbidden to you both by my words?” (887-95a)

Him the beautiful woman answered then,
the lady ashamed: “The serpent beguiled me and eagerly
he urged me to a malformed deed and to a sinful greed,
the stained worm through his fair words, until I wickedly
did the enemy’s work, worked a hostile act, and then reft it—
it was not right—the tree in the forest and then ate its fruit.” (895b-902)

Then the serpent was condemned by our Savior,
the Almighty Lord to the banded worm* to the far-flung ways
and he spoke then a word: “You shall forever tread the broad earth
upon your belly, accursed upon your breast,* faring footless,
so long as your life endures, your soul within you.
You shall eat the dust your life-days.
So you have accomplished a hateful work, so that the woman will despise you,
hate you under the heavens and tread upon your guilty head
with her foot. You shall await her heel for a battle renewed.
The enmity of war will ever be mutual for your progeny
while this world stands under the skies. Now you know,
hated harmer of folk, how you shall exist.” (903-17)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Genesis A continues

Then the Almighty Lord came after mid-day, the famous Prince,
into Parasdise-plain at his wont. He wished to discover,
our Savior, the merciful Father, what his children had done;
He knew them sinful whom he had given beauty before.
Adam and Eve moved to depart then, misery-minded
under the wood-shadows, bereft of good; they hid
themselves in the dark when they heard the Lord’s holy word,
and they feared him. Then at once the Prince of the Skies,
began to inquire of the guardian of the created world.
He ordered his son to come quickly to the Powerful Lord.
Adam replied then, lowly speaking, in need of clothes himself: (852-66)

“I cover myself here, lacking clothes, my Life-Start,
hiding in leaves. A sinful, scathed mind is painful to me,
dreadful to my spirit. I dare not go forth now to answer you.
I am entirely naked.” (867-71)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The End of Genesis B!

Then spoke Eve in reply, the brightest of women,
the most splendid lady; she was the craft of God,
although she was bereaved by the devil’s wiles:
“You could blame me for it, my dear friend Adam,
with your words. It could not distress you worse
in your mind than it is does in my heart.” (820-26)

Then Adam answered her: “If I knew the will of the Wielder,
what I should have as punishment—even though
the God of Heaven were to command me to wade into the sea
from here right now, to go into the flood, were it never so deep,
the sea-stream so great, you would never see my mind doubt it so readily,
but I would venture to the very bottom if I could work God’s will.
There is need for me in this world for any vassalage,
now that I have forfeited the favor of my Lord, and I can no longer have it.
But the two of us cannot exist thus bare together at all.
Let us go into the forest, into the shelter of this wood.” (827-40a)

The two of them turned, going separately sorrowing
into the green wood, sitting apart, to await the decree
of the Heaven-King himself, because they then
were no longer permitted to possess what Almighty God
had once given them. Then they covered their body-homes
with leaves, concealed themselves with foliage,
for they had no clothes. Yet they fell into prayer, the two of them
together, every morning, asking the Mighty One,
God Almighty that he not forget them, and instruct them,
the Sovereign, how they must live thenceforth in the light. (840b-51)

More Genesis B XIII -- almost done with B!

Adam took up Hell and the journey hence from his wife,
although it was not so named, but it must possess the name of fruit.
It was the sleep of death yet and the chain of the devil,
Hell and the journey from this world, and the destruction of men,
the sin of humanity so that they took that evil fruit as food.
So it came within him, touched him at heart—
and then the bitter-minded messenger laughed and sported,
saying thanks to his master for the both of them: (717b-26a)
“Now I have brought your certain grace about me,
and fulfilled your will unto a great many days.
Humanity is deceived, Adam and Eve!
The Sovereign’s disgrace is appointed to them
now they have forsaken his teaching, the sayings of his mouth.
Therefore no longer can they keep heaven’s realm,
but must fare forth on a dark course for Hell.
So you need not bear this pain in your breast,
where you will lie bound, mourning in your mind,
that here men may dwell in that high heaven yet we suffer griefs,
the wrack of torture and the land of darkness,
and through your great thought many have relinquished
the high-timbers of heaven-kingdom and its goodly homes! (726b-40a)

“The wrath of God is ours because we did not wish
to bow our heads in service to him in the heavenly realm,
to the Holy Lord; but it was not our fate that we should desire
to serve him in thane-ship. Therefore the Sovereign was angered in his mind,
stern in his heart, and forced us into Hell, into that fire filled
by our greatest people and with his hands set the heavenly thrones to right
in the heaven-kingdom and gave that realm to mankind.
Your mind can be blithe in your breast, because two things are done here:
first that the sons of men, mankind must lose heaven’s realm
and next that they must be turned to you into that heated flame—
what’s more, an injury, mind-sorrow is made to God. (740b-55a)

“Whatever deaths we have endured here, it is now all forgiven
in Adam, with the hate of his Master and with the destruction of men,
the pain of death for humankind. Therefore is my mind made whole,
my thought spacious about the heart, all of our harms are revenged
the hateful things that we have long suffered.
Now I wish to go nearer to the flame again; I wish to seek Satan there.
He is in that dark Hell, fettered with the clasping of rings.” (755b-62a)

He hastened himself downwards again, the bitterest envoy.
He must then seek out the cliffs of Hell, the broad flames,
where his master lay, bound by chains. (762b-65a)

Both of the two, Adam and Eve made their sorrows,
and often between them passed a miserable word;
they dreaded the displeasure of their Master, God,
the hate of the Heaven-King they feared greatly.
They understood themselves that his word was worsted.
That woman grieved, sad-minded she lamented—
she had given up the grace of God and his precepts—
when she saw that light hurry away elsewhere
that he who counseled this injury had shown her
by an untrue token, so that they must have the hatred of Hell,
a myriad of miseries. Therefore heart-sorrow burned in their breasts.
Sometimes they fell to prayers, the conjugal pair together,
and addressed the goodness of the Victory-Lord and named him God,
the Wielder of Heaven, and begged him to allow them to have
their share of harm, to eagerly satisfy it, when they had broken
the commandment of God. They saw that their bodies were naked.
They did not have yet in that land any established home,
nor did they know any sorrow of labor at all, but they could easily
live in that land, if they would perform the teaching of God
from then on. Then they spoke many saddened-words at once,
those married two. (765b-89)

Adam addressed Eve and spoke to her: “So, you, Eve
have appointed evil upon our course. You see now
shadowy Hell greedy and ravenous. Now you can hear
them raging in the distance. Heaven’s realm is not like
that flame, yet this is the best of lands, which we may
have been allowed to keep by the grace of our Master,
if you had not harkened to him that counseled you this injury
and we had not violated the Sovereign’s word, the Heaven-King.
Now we must be miserable, sorrowing for this fate,
because he commanded us himself that we must beware
of punishment, the most of harms. Now hungers cuts at me and thirst
is bitter in my breast, both of which before we were free for all time. (790-804)

“How should we live now or exist in this land if the wind comes,
from the west or east, from the south or north? If darkness arise,
and showers of hail come up against the heavens,
frost comes at the same time, which is very cold.
At one time the bright sun shone, blazing hot from the heaven,
and here we stand bare, uncovered by clothing.
There is nothing at all before us as a covering shadow,
nothing appointed to us as food, but Mighty God is angered
at us, the Wielder. To what shall we become now?
Now I can regret that I asked the Sovereign God of Heaven
for his good will, so that he created you for me here,
from my ribs, now you have deceived me into the hate of my Master.
So now I can regret forever that I saw you with my eyes.” (805-20)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Genesis B XIII, part 1

She spoke to him unstintingly and enticed him all day
to that darksome deed that defied their Lord’s will.
The wrathful herald remained there, placing his desires into them
and seducing them with skill, pursuing him perilously.
The fiend was quite near who on that dangerous journey
had ventured across the distant way; he planned to cast down
humanity into that great death, to corrupt and deceive the race,
so that they gave up the lordly grant of God, the Almighty’s gift,
the power of heaven’s realm. (684-94a)

Lo! the hell-harmer readily knew that they should have God’s ire
and the torments of Hell, and by need take up its constraining evil
since they had broken the command of God when he deceived
with lying words that lovely woman to that foolish deed,
that lady most shining, so that she spoke his desires.
He was an aid to her in undoing Adam, the handiwork of God. (694b-703a)

She, the fairest of women, spoke then to Adam quite pressingly,
until the servant of God began to be turned in his mind,
so that he trusted the promises that the woman said to him wordfully.
Yet she did it through a gracious heart, not knowing that there
would be so many hurts, the harms of sin that must ensue
for mankind, after she took into her head and heeded
the teachings of that hateful herald, supposing that
she wrought the favor of the Heaven-King with her words
and she showed such signs to her husband and promised him such troth
until Adam within his breast changed his mind
and began to turn his heart towards her desires. (704-17a)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Genesis B XII.2

Then Eve ate of that fruit, breaking the word and will of the All-Wielder.
Then she could see far and wide through the loathsome’s gift,
which came to Eve for his purposes, and he deceived her with lying words,
secretly beguiling her, so that it seemed to her that heaven and earth
was brighter and all this world more beautiful, and the work of God
great and masterful, although she apprehended it not through human senses
but the scather eagerly seduced her soul so that sight was bestowed her
and she could gaze so broadly across the heaven-realm.
Then the forsworn one spoke through his fiend-ship—
he exhorted her not at all to her advantage: (599-610)

“Now you can see yourself so I need not tell it to you,
Eve the good, that beauty and blossoms are unlike,
since you have trusted my words and fulfilled my teaching.
Now splendid light shines before you that I have brought from God,
bright from heaven. Now you can touch it—
Tell Adam what power of sight and craft you possess by my arrival.
If he obeys my precept through modest bearing yet
then I shall give him light enough as good as I have prepared for you.
Nor should I blame him for his blasphemous words,
though he is not worthy to be pardoned for it:
many wicked things he has said about me.” (611-22)

And so must her children live afterwards:
when they do evil, they must secure his love,
amend their harm-words to their Master, and keep his grace from then on.
Then Eve went to Adam, the brightest woman,
the most beautiful lady that had come into the world,
because she was the handiwork of the Heaven-King,
though she was secretly corrupted then, seduced by deceptions,
She must have been hateful to God to forgo his glory
through the schemes of the Wrathful, through the Devil’s craft,
the favor of her Master and to go without the heavenly realm
for many lifetimes. It will be very evil to the man
who does not care for himself when he has the power! (623-35)

Eve bore some fruit in her hands, some lay upon her breast,
the unholy apples, which the Lord of Lords had forbidden them,
the fruit of the Tree of Death and that word the Prince of Glory had spoken,
saying that great death men his servants need not suffer,
but he gave heaven’s kingdom to each of his people, the Holy Lord,
a surpassing wide realm, if they would leave that fruit alone
which the hateful tree bore on its boughs, filled with bitterness:
that was the Tree of Death which the Lord had forbidden them. (636-46)

Terrible to God and hateful to the Heaven-King, the devil
had seduced the mind of Eve with lies, the weak thought of the woman,
so that she trusted his words, fulfilled his precept, and took the belief
that he had brought it to her then from God’s command,
what had been so carefully and wordfully told to her.
He showed her a token and promised her his good faith,
his gracious thought. Then she spoke unto her husband: (647-54)

“Adam my lord, this fruit is so sweet, mild in the breast,
and this messenger lovely, the good angel of God,
I see by his raiment that he is the errand-man of our Master,
the Heaven-King. His favor is better for us than to achieve
his displeasure. If you spoke any harm to him today,
he will forgive it yet, if we wish to obey our servitude.
Why shall you be so hatefully be at strife with your Master’s
messenger? We need his grace; he could intercede for us
to that All-Wielding, the King of Heaven. From here I can see
where he sits himself—that is to south and east—wound up in his weal,
he that shaped this world. I see his angels revolving about him
with their wings, the most of all peoples, the most joyous race. (655-71a)

“How could it give me such understanding
if God had not sent it plainly? I can hear broadly
and see so widely into this whole world across the fullness of creation.
I can hear the pleasures of the music in heaven.
I have become light in my mind within and without,
since I bit into that fruit. Now I hold here in my hands,
my good master, and I give it to you eagerly.
I believe that it comes from God, brought forth at his bidding,
of which this messenger has said to me with true words.
It is not at all like anything on earth, except as this herald says,
that it comes straight from God.” (671b-83)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Genesis B XII.1

Wrath-minded he turned himself to where he saw the woman
standing upon the earth-realm, shaped splendidly,
and he spoke, that one, it would become the greatest of harms
unto all of her descendents in this world forever after:*
“I know the Sovereign God will become angered at you both,
if I should speak to him this very message, when I come before him
from this journey across the distant way, that you will not
attend to the messages that he sends eastwards to here
at this time. Now he should venture himself for your answer;
nor can his messenger deliver his reply; for that I know that
he will be enraged at you both, mighty in his mind.
Though if you wish to heed my words, lusty woman,
then you can consider his capacious counsel. (547-61)

“Consider in your breast what you can do to ward
yourselves from punishment, as I direct you.
Eat these fruits! Then your eyes will become so bright
that you can afterwards see so widely across the whole world,
and the throne of your Master itself, and ever have his grace.
You could lead Adam after—
if you had his will and he trusted your word.
If you spoke to him the truth of what command you have
in your breast, that you keep God’s bidding and teaching.
Adam will forgo in his breast-coffer this hateful strife
and evil reply, as both of us may speak to his advantage.
Entice him eagerly so that he carries out your precept,
lest you two should merit the hatred of your Sovereign God. (562-77)
“If you would perform this deed, best of all women,
I will cover up the many harms Adam spoke to me
from your Master, his many evil words.
He accuses me of bad faith, he says that I am eager for injury,
a servant of the Hostile and not at all an angel of God.
Yet I know so readily the origin of all the angels,
the high vault of heaven. The time was long after
that I eagerly served God by a loyal spirit, my Master,
the Lord Himself. I am no devil.” (578-87)

He led her with such lying words and with skillful enticings,
the woman into that unright, until the serpent’s thought
began to be moved within her—the Maker had marked her with the weaker mind—
so that she allowed her heart to be stirred by that instruction.
Because of this she took the disastrous fruit from the Tree of Death
from that hateful one over the Lord’s word. There could be no worse deed
appointed of humans! It is a great wonder that Eternal God the Prince
would ever endure it, that so many thanes became beguiled
by those deceptions which came from his precepts. (588-98)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dog-Headed Days

Hello all,

I decided to branch out a bit from the original plan of the ASNPP and create a page for the translation I've been working on, the Nowell Codex's version of the Passion of St. Christopher, which I put together a few years ago in order to use the text in planned undergraduate classes. As far as I have been able to determine, there are no extant, modern translations of the prose life available, since it is not included in Andy Orchard's Pride and Prodigies (1995) and its translations of the Nowell Codex's prose monster texts. Therefore I felt that my work really needed to be made public sooner rather than later.

The translation is not quite done: the final paragraphs are very rough yet. I will get those into shape shortly.

As usual, if you would like to use the translation as a teaching tool, please contact me via the comments forum, so I can send you the most updated version of the text.