Friday, July 8, 2011

When black waves covered Middle-Earth

Aaron Hostetter’s marvelous translation of Genesis A. continues with the Anglo-Saxon retelling of Noah and the Flood:

Noah, the son of Lamech, was six hundred winters old

when he with his sons went down under the deck,
wise with his children, by the order of God, precious to the multitude.
The Lord sent rain from the heavens and allowed likewise
a welling gush to press upon the roomy world from every spring,
dark water-streams rushed. The seas rose up over the sea-cliffs.
Strong and fierce was he who controlled the waters.
The children of the wicked feud, of middle-earth were covered
and concealed by the black waves, the homelands of men.
The house of earth was harried, the Maker avenged
the willful crimes upon mankind. The strong sea grabbed
onto the fated folk for forty days, and forty nights as well.
The hate was ferocious, slaughter-cruel towards men.
The waves of the Glory-King drove out the spirits
of the dishonored from their flesh-homes.
The Flood covered them all, the high mountains stormy
under the heavens throughout the wide earth and heaved up
onto the seas the Ark from the ground and with it the nobles.
Then the Lord himself signified, our Shaper,
when he had closed up that ship. (1367b-91)

More at the Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry Project.


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