Thursday, December 13, 2012

Daniel L complete

The Daniel translation page is now available (check on the right side for the link).

Here is more of the first section (helpfully numbered section 50, since the scribe of the first part of the Junius Manuscript may have considered the sequential sections as all part of the same big poem). The poem feels good so far, like I'm back inside my own skin, which is a nice sensation.


Then the Prince of Realms grew anger-minded
at that disloyal people to whom he had given everything.
He directed them at the start, those who were at first
the dearest of mankind before that, dearest of the multitude,
most beloved of the Lord—a marching path had he marked out
unto the high city, those alien noblemen into their homeland
where stood Salem, strengthened with skillful walls,
bedecked with battlements. To that place came the Chaldeans,
witful men, onwards upon that city,
where Israel was clothed in its wealthy things;
against them that host was attacking,
a powerful force, eager for sinful harms.
A princely chief of men aroused that killing hate,
the lord of Babylon in his city-stead,
Nebuchadnezzar through his envious hatred,
so that he sought his inmost thoughts
for how he could most easily oppress
the Israelite people through fierce men’s journey.
So then he gathered together from the south and north
a bloodthirsty host and brought them westwards
in an army of heathen kings unto that high city.
The home-wardens of Israel held their love,
their lively prosperity, so long as the Lord allowed them. (33-55)

Then I heard that the kindred of the olden enemy
laid to waste the wine-city of men. These warriors did not believe,
bereaving the glory of halls, Solomon’s temple,
of its red gold, its treasures, and silver.
They plundered its riches under the stone cliffs,
everything that these earls might possess,
until they had smashed every stronghold
that stood as a sanctuary for these people.
They burdened themselves with the bounty
of the hoard-wardens as plunder, the coins and the chattels
such as they found there, and then they journeyed
back again with their possessions,
and led back on the long road the children of Israel,
on the eastern ways to Babylon, a numberless people
beneath the hand of warriors and heathen overlords.
Nebuchadnezzar put them under constraint,
the sons of Israel, the survivors of the swords,
as work-thralls out of all hope. (56-74)

Then he sent out an army of his own thanes
to go westwards so that they might rule over
that people’s territory, their wasted
homeland, in the stead of the Hebrews.
The king ordered his reeves to seek out
among the wretched remnants of the Israelites
which of their young men was who had been brought there
the wisest in the commandments of their books.
He wished that the young men should be learned
in this craft so that he could chatter to them
of the wisdom in his heart, and not at all
so that he could or would be mindful to thank God
for the gifts which the Lord bestowed upon him
for his own mortal glory. (75-87)

Then they found among them three
lord-wise and noble men and law-fast as well,
young and goodly in their godly descent.
One was Annanias, the second Azarias,
and Misael the third, chosen by Measurer.
Then these three came before the prince
hardy and heart-wise, where the heathen sat,
the king eager for his retinue, in the Chaldean city.
Then they were required to reveal their wisdom
the Hebrew men, to that proud king wordfully,
their high mind-power through their holy hearts,
when the warrior ordered, the warden of Babylon,
the stern-minded king, his own thanes, his first-spears,
upon their lives to ensure that there would be no lack
of food or clothing in this worldly life for these three young men. (88-103)

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