Thursday, December 20, 2012

Daniel LII, pt 1

So I have been considering the fact that I have two manuscripts' worth of translations on this site, Anglo-Saxon Religious Poems and The Junius Manuscript, and have realized the time has come to start shopping these translations around to become the books I've always intended them to be. No sense sitting on them any longer until I have time to work on them. I will never have time to devote to them any time soon, but that shouldn't stop me from seeking the fulfillment of their true destiny. Let the dice fly!

Here's the first part of Daniel LII: --------------------------

Then the single-minded king grew enraged—he ordered an oven
to be stoked hot for the killing of these young men’s lives
since they resisted his power. Then it was kindled
as grimly as it could be, with the cruel tongues of flame,
when he gathered together the people in that place
and wanted them bound, the messengers of God,
fierce and much mourning in mind, the warden of Babylon. (224-29)

Then he ordered his servants to shove those youths
into the baleful blaze, those young warriors.
He was ready who did them comfort, though the king
had urged so cruelly in the arms of the fiery flames—
nevertheless a mighty guardian of God preserved their lives.
As the many were to learn the Holy One had ordained them help,
God, the Warden of Men sent them from the lofty heavens
his blessed spirit. An angel came within the furnace
where they endured their misery, covering these free-born sons
with his embrace under the fiery roof.
Nor could the welling of the flickering flames spoil their beauty
one whit, those men who the Sovereign had saved. (230-40)
Savage-minded was the heathen king—he ordered them
to be swiftly burned. The pyre was senselessly strong.
Then was the oven kindled, the iron all heated through.
Many slaves flung wood inside it, just as they were wordfully
commanded—they bore brands into the burning of the bright flames—
the wolf-hearted king wished to rear up an iron wall
around those law-fast men—until the fire leapt over
those beloved men and lustfully destroyed a great many,
more than should be appropriate. (242-49)

Then the flame flew upon those hateful men,
onto the heathens from the holy ones. The young men
were joyful at heart; the servants were burned
around and without the furnace. The pyre turned
upon them painfully to their hurt, and the lord of Babylon
witnessed it all. Blithe were the Hebrew nobles,
readily praising their Lord in joy, doing as they knew best
within the oven, preserving their lives.
The glad-minded men worthied God
within whose embrace the heat of the wicked fire
was put to flight. The free-born sons were delivered
from the onslaught of the flames, so that they did
no harm to them. The noise was no more a sorrow to them
than the shining of the sun, nor did the burning beat
upon these men who should be beat upon in there—
instead that fire let fly fire upon those worked harm then,
turning upon those heathen servants away from the blessed boys,
and the fairness of those accursed men was diminished,
who had rejoiced in those terrible deeds. (250-67)

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