Friday, January 13, 2012

Some Phoenix II

Here is some more of The Phoenix translation which I finished before I left for vacation, but neglected to post before I went.


That wood is watched over by a wondrously fair
fowl, strong of feathers, which is called the Phoenix.
There that lone-dweller observes that land,
brave-minded of bearing. Death shall never harm him
in that desired land, so long as the world remains.
He must behold the course of the sun
and come toward God’s candle,
the gem of gladness, eagerly attending it,
when up comes the most noble of stars
over the waved sea, gleaming from the east,
the Father’s olden work dazzling with jewels,
the bright token of God. The stars are hidden,
departed beneath the waves towards the west,
obscured in the daybreak and the dark night
descends dusky. Then the strong-winged bird
proud in its wandering, in the mountain stream
under the sky, eagerly makes witness over the water
when the light of the heavens comes up from the east
gliding over the broad expanse of the sea. (85-103)

So the noble and beauty-fast bird dwells
by the welling streams at the fountain-head,
where he, glory-blessed, bathes himself in that brook
twelve times before the coming of that beacon
the sky’s candle, and always as often
from that delightful surging spring
the sea-cold water preserves him with every bath.
Afterwards the high-minded bird heaves himself
onto a lofty tree after his swim-play,
and from there he can most easily behold
the journey on the east-ways, when the taper of the skies
sparkles clearly over the churning waves, the light’s beam. (104-16a)

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