Friday, December 24, 2010

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Tundra-Wanderer

Hrodulf Readnosa Hrandeor.
Incipiunt gesta Rudolphi rangiferis tarandi.

Now begin the deeds of Rudolph Reindeer.

Hwaet, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor
Naefde thaet nieten unsciende naesthyrlas! 
Glitenode and gladode godlice nosgrisele. 
Da hofberendas mid huscwordum hine gehefigodon; 
Nolden tha geneatas Hrodulf naeftig 
To gomene hraniscum geador aetsomne.

     Listen!  Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer, 
     The beast didn't have unshiny nostrils! 
     The goodly nose-cartilage glittered and glowed. 
     The hoof-bearers taunted him with proud words, 
     The comrades wouldn't allow wretched Hrodulf 
     To join the reindeer games.

Tha in Cristesmaesseaefne stormigum clommum, 
Halga Claus thaet gemunde to him mathelode: 
"Neahfreond nihteage nosubeorhtende! 
Min hroden hraedwaen gelaed thu, Hrodulf!"

Then, on Christmas Eve bound in storms 
Santa Claus remembered that, and spoke formally to him: 
"Night-sighted friend, nose-bright one! 
You, Hrodulf, shall lead my adorned rapid-wagon!"

Da gelufodon hira laddeor tha lyftflogan— 
Waes glaednes and gliwdream; 
hornede sum gegieddode 
"Hwaet, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor, 
Brad springth thin blaed: breme eart thu!"

     Then the sky-flyers praised the deer-leader. 
     There was gladness and music,
     Then one of the horned ones sang 
     "Lo, Hrodulf Reindeer Rednose,
     Your fame spreads broadly, you are renowned!"

Anglo-Saxon verse Copyright 1996 by Philip Chapman-Bell.