Saturday, April 28, 2012

Exodus, part XLVI

Despite not working on this translation, parts keep falling out left and right. :)


The war-caller then leapt forward for the warriors,
a bold battle-proclaimer, heaving up his shield,
ordering that folk-general then to still his army
while the many could hear the speech of the prideful.
The warden of the realm wished to speak
across the chosen troop in a holy voice,
the wiseman of the host worth-minded spoke: (252-58)

“Do not become more frightened for this, though Pharaoh
has brought a broad army of sword-warriors,
uncountable earls. The Mighty Lord wishes to bestow
upon all of them through my hand upon this day
reward for their deeds, so that they while living will not
be allowed to enslave with miseries the kindred of Israel
for long! Nor will you dread this slaughtered host,
their fated spirit-boxes! Their time is at an end,
their loaned lives! The teaching of God shall be yours,
unsheathed from your breast! So that you might worthy
the Lord of Glory in a better way, I ask for you the grace
of the Lord of Life for the success of victory wherever
you might voyage. This is the Eternal God of Abraham,
the Founder of First-Creation, who protects this host,
mindful and eager for power, with his mighty hand!” (259-75)

Then Moses lifted his loud voice for his army, the living
people when he spoke to them: “Listen! Now look upon this,
dearest of peoples, with your eyes, a certain fearful miracle,
how I myself shall smite the deeps of the spear-waves
with the green token in my strong right hand.
The surges pile high, working the waters with haste
into a rampart. The waves are dry, the silver army-street,
the sea is opened, the old foundations, which I have never
before heard men across middle-earth could traverse,
the mottled fields which the waves will cover forth from here
into eternal seasons, given to the ocean’s floor.
The south wind seizes the blast of the bath-ways,
the salt water is stretched back, the sea-tow spews sand.
I know truly and very well that Mighty God has revealed
his mercy to you all, earls happy as in days of old.
Haste is the best, that you get into the deeps away from your foes
now that the Owner has reared up the red streams into
sheltering shields! These fore-walls have been beautifully built,
a pleasant wave-passage up to the roof of the sky!” (276-98)

After these words the entire army stood up, the might of the mindful.
The sea waited quietly. The chosen of war heaved up white shields,
their standards upon the sand. The sea-wall mounted overhead,
it stood upright against the Israelites the space of one day.
The company of earls was of one resolve, keeping their covenant
in the fixed depths. Not at all did they question the teaching
of holy Moses—afterwards a harmony of beloved intonation
was heard nearer as the voices subsided and the cacophony of songs. (299-309)

Then the fourth tribe went first, wading across the wave-stream,
warriors in a group over the green ground, a Jewish troop
hastening upon the unfamiliar paths before their kinsmen.
So Mighty God paid a profound price for his day-works,
after he granted them the glory of victory-deeds,
so that they must possess authority over the kingdoms
to come, the first-fruits of their kinsmen. (310-18)

No comments: