Sunday, April 22, 2012

More Exodus

Here is more of the Exodus translation in progress.

Then one became the keeper of the patrimony for his people,
for the men after their treasures, so that he received so much.
The kindred of Egypt forgot all of this after they became cruel
without hesitation. So then they made murder upon his kin-friends,
brought about crimes, devouring their compacts.
There were battle-waves banded about their hearts,
the strong-minded men. With evil troth they wished to repay
life’s reward with wickedness, so that they would purchase
their day’s work with blood, with the people of Moses,
wherever Mighty God had given them success on that fatal journey. (142-53)

Then the heart of the earls became distrusting of them
after they had seen the horde of Pharaoh moving forth
from the south-ways, carrying boar-spears, their cavalry shining—
their pikes arrayed, approaching battle, the cover of their shields
shining, their trumpets singing—their standards were raised,
treading the borders of their tribe up to the whale[-road ...] (154-61)

The battle-birds screamed out, greedy for carnage, dewy-feathered
over the fallen soldiers, the dark ravens. Wolves sang
a terrible evening-song, hopeful for food, the reckless beasts,
awaiting scavenger-brave the fall of the people’s power
on that hateful trail. The border-guards screamed out in the middle
of the night, their fated spirit flew: the people were troubled. (162-69)

Sometimes from that army proud thanes cross the mile-paths
upon the backs of their horses. There in front of the border-army
the banner-king, the prince of men rode against the banners.
The battle-warden of men fastened his grim helmet,
the king clasped his chin-guard, his standard shining,
in the hopes for war, rattling his slaughter-links,
and ordering his vanguard to eagerly hold his troopers fast.
His allies witnessed with hateful eyes the coming of the land-men.
About Pharaoh warriors unafraid moved, grey killing-wolves
seeking warfare, thirsty for violence and the lord-faithful. (170-82)

He had chosen from the multitude of people two thousand
of the glory-blessed for himself, so that there were kings
and their kinsmen, in the customs of that common wealth,
dear to the noblemen. Therefore each led out all of his male
warriors of which he could find in that space of time. (183-89)

There were native warriors all together, kings in a collection.
The familiar horn in a band often commanded which way
the young warriors, the war-troop of men, should bear their arms.
So there the dark army, leading their reinforcements,
hateful man after hateful man, a plurality of the people’s power,
were hurrying to that place by their thousands.
They had resolved, in their strengthened bands
at the dawning of the day, to destroy with swords
the kindred of Israel in repayment for their fallen brothers. (190-99)

Therefore a howl was heaved up in the camps,
a terrible evening-song and terror standing tall,
their slaughter-nets hindered those that the clamor came upon.
The terrible news put them to flight: their enemy was resolute,
the army was war-bright, until a mighty angel
headed the proud off, one who guarded the many,
so that their gathered enemies could not see each other
there for long—their ways were sundered.
The exiles had the space of a night, even though on every side
their enemies lay in wait for them, the hostile forces
and the sea-stream. They had no other way to escape. (200-10)

The Israelites were despairing of their homeland,
they sat upon the mountains in their black garments,
the watchers expecting only woe in their hopes,
that entire kindred host gathered together waiting for
the great force of war, until Moses ordered
his earls with brazen trumpets in the early dawn
to gather up their people and arise with their warriors,
keeping their mail-corselets, thinking on courage,
bearing their bright armor, calling out with beacons
to the forces nearer to the shore. The wardens obeyed
his war-cry quickly, the army was prepared,
moving out over the hills, having heard the trumpets,
the sailors from their tents: the army was in haste. (211-23)

Afterwards they counted themselves against the hated
in the vanguard, twelve bold companies of mindful men—
their forces were aroused. There was in any one of them
fifty squadrons of noble men selected under shields
from the people’s multitude, the count of the tribe,
and each squadron of the familiar army had ten hundred
spear-bearing, war-making, glory-blessed men.
That was a warlike army. That army’s commanders
did not seek after the weak for that cavalcade of warriors,
those who for their youth could not yet defend
with their hands their breast-nets against hostile arrows
under their shields nor those who had endured grievous injuries
over the rims of their shield, the pain of bodily injury,
in the boastful play of spears. Grey-haired old men
were not able to prosper in battle among these war-men,
if their strength in the bold troop had diminished,
yet they were chosen by the fruits of warfare,
how they wished to fare among their people,
their pride amid honors, and how their mighty skill
took up the grip of the spear-shaft. (224-46)

Then was the army of hand-eager men gathered,
ready for the forth-ways. Their standard rode high,
brightest of trees. They all still waited until
the journey-herald near to the sea-streams
broke through the clouds, light over their shields. (247-251)

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