Posts tagged ‘12th century’

Sunday, 3 November 2019

GGS 2817: I Awoke From Sleep by Fujiwara no Ietaka

I awoke from sleep
hearing a sad sound
I had not listened for:
the voice of waves at daybreak
breaking on the rocky shore.

From: Carter, Steven D. (ed. and transl.) Waiting for the Wind: Thirty-Six Poets of Japan’s Late Medieval Age, 1989, Columbia University Press: New York, p. 42.
(https://www.gwern.net/docs/japanese/1989-carter-waitingforthewind.pdf)

Date:  c12th century (original in Japanese); 1989 (translation in English)

By: Fujiwara no Ietaka (1158-1237)

Translated by: Steven D. Carter (19??- )

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

The Hosts of Faery by Anonymous

White shields they carry in their hands,
With emblems of pale silver;
With glittering blue swords,
With mighty stout horns.

In well-devised battle array,
Ahead of their fair chieftain
They march amid blue spears,
Pale-visaged, curly-headed bands.

They scatter the battalions of the foe,
They ravage every land they attack,
Splendidly they march to combat,
A swift, distinguished, avenging host!

No wonder though their strength be great:
Sons of queens and kings are one and all;
On their heads are
Beautiful golden-yellow manes.

With smooth comely bodies,
With bright blue-starred eyes,
With pure crystal teeth,
With thin red lips.

Good they are at man-slaying,
Melodious in the ale-house,
Masterly at making songs,
Skilled at playing fidchell.

From: Meyer, Kuno (ed. and transl.), Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry, 1911, Constable & Company: London, p. 20.
(https://www.gutenberg.org/files/32030/32030-h/32030-h.htm)

Date: 12th century (original in Gaelic); 1911 (translation in English)

By: Anonymous

Translated by: Kuno Meyer (1858-1919)

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Gwalchmai’s Delight by Gwalchmai ap Meilyr

Swift rising dawn of joyful gliding June,
Melodious song of birds, calm, lustrous noon!
A gold-torqued Chief am I that know not fear,
A fierce, host-facing lion, rout in my rear!
At night I guard with bound-protecting sword
The babbling flow of Dygen Freiddin’s ford.

How green the untrodden grass! How pearly pale
Its stream! And oh, its amorous nightingale!
The sea-mews playing o’er its bed of flood
Shake their white plumes in boisterous multitude;
Till, whiter breasted one, the lover’s season
With dreams of thee distract my very reason.
Far, far art thou from Mona’s pleasant leas,
Where folk in splendid solitude take their ease,
Where truth by choicest lips is ever told,
Where poesy pours in one pure stream of gold.

My falchion flashes quick to guard the brave,
My round shield glitters glory by the wave;
While dulcet harmonies from morn till eve
Wood-birds and waters delicately interweave.

My mind inflamed shoots like a shivering star
O’er all the land to Evernwy afar;
Over white budding apple-tree, blossoming flowers,
Woods one wide emerald at this hour of hours,
To Caerwys’ nymph, within her bower of bowers.

Gwalchmai my name, the Saxon’s steadfast foe,
For Mona’s prince I struck a battle blow;
Before a fortress I made blood to flow,
For Llywy’s sake, fair as on trees the snow.

The nightingale that shortens sleep in May
And Llywy’s lily looks I’ll praise alway.

I saw in Rhuddlan a flaming rush before
Owain, carnage of spears, lettings of gore.
With mortal combats I heard the Vale outring;
I saw a hundred Captains’ silencing.

But when War’s mighty music had sunk to rest,
Sweet sang the nightingale above his nest.

From: Graves, Alfred Perceval (ed. and transl.), Welsh Poetry Old and New in English Verse, 1912, Longmans, Green, and Co.: London, pp. 16-17.
(https://archive.org/details/welshpoetryoldne00graviala/)

Date: 12th century (original in Welsh); 1912 (translation in English)

By: Gwalchmai ap Meilyr (fl. 1130-1180)

Translated by: Alfred Perceval Graves (1846-1931)

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Ghazal by Khāqānī (Afzaladdin Badil (Ibrahim) ibn Ali Nadjar)

lovers seek none other
than a risk-all lover.
good hearts only want
an all-or-nothing lover.
while love reigns, reason is under ban
for folk won’t tolerate rival claims in love’s domain.
there are those like mé with nothing left them
but clipped wings and
wide eyes fixed on flame.
stoke-hearts fired to flame, ẃe
are but moths driven to love’s flame.
yet you’ll not catch me flying
outside my love’s sacrosanct seraglio.
they don’t call that soul-searing spike
oppression. they seek not shrieks
from that world-burning tulip.
should I be slain by the flirt,
of her eyes twain lovely, take care—
lest lovers want my blood’s spurt
for her twin twinkling eyes.
this is the moral law in the lovers’ church:
none shall seek to gain
blood-price for those love in slain.
speak not a word to Khāqānī
‘less its main line be love,
lovers won’t hear a song sung
from the nightingale’s tongue
‘less roses be in bloom and spring be sprung.

From: Martin, David, “Selected Ghazaliyat (Love Poems) Translated from the Classical Persian of Khaqani, Sa’di, and Rumi”, 1984, Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 15(1), pp. 17-18.
(https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6qg479xf)

Date: 12th century (original in Persian); 1984 (translation in English)

By: Khāqānī (Afzaladdin Badil (Ibrahim) ibn Ali Nadjar) (1121/1122-1190)

Translated by: David Martin (1944- )

Monday, 2 July 2018

When Days Grow Long in May by Jaufre Rudel

When days grow long in May
I rejoice in songs of birds from afar,
For now that I have traveled far
I think of a love from far away.
So bent and bowed with desire I go
That neither song nor hawthorn flower
Pleases me more than winter’s snow.

No love will ever make me glad
Unless I rejoice in this love from afar;
I know no lady as fair or good
Anywhere, near or far.
She is so true, so pure
That over there, in Saracen lands,
I’d gladly be captured for her.

Sad but rejoicing, I’d take my leave
If I could see this love from afar;
But I do not know when we’ll meet,
For our lands lie far apart.
The passes and roads are so abundant
That I cannot see what lies ahead,
But let all be as it pleases God.

Surely joy will come to me, come from far
When for love of God, I seek my lodging there.
And if it pleases her, I shall reside
Close by her though I come from afar.
Then we shall speak truly, one to another,
When I come so near, a faraway lover,
That her gracious words will bring me joy.

Indeed I’ll know the lord is true
Who lets me see this love from afar,
But for every blessing that comes my way
I feel two blows, she’s so far away.
I wish I could go as a pilgrim
And see my staff and cloak
Reflected in her lovely eyes!

May God, who made what comes or goes
And created this love from afar,
Give me power, for I have the desire
Soon to see this love from afar
Truly, in places so pleasant
That chamber and garden
Will always seem a palace to me.

He speaks the truth who says I yearn
And lust for love from afar,
For no other joy so pleases me
As the pleasure of love from afar.
But the woman I want despises me,
Since my godfather doomed me
To love but never to be loved.

But the woman I want despises me;
A curse on the godfather
Who doomed me never to be loved!

From: Paden, William D. and Paden, Frances Freeman (transl. and eds.), Troubadour Poems from the South of France, 2007, D. S. Brewer: Cambridge, pp. 34-35.
(https://the-eye.eu/public/Books/Poetry/Troubadour%20Poems%20from%20the%20South%20of%20France.pdf)

Date: 12th century (original in Occitan); 2007 (translation in English)

By: Jaufre Rudel (1113-1147)

Translated by: William Doremus Paden (1941- ) and Frances Freeman Paden (1942- )

Thursday, 17 May 2018

This Leaky, Tumbledown by Saigyō Hōshi (Satō Norikiyo)

This leaky, tumbledown
grass hut left an opening for the moon,
and I gazed at it
all the while it was mirrored
in a teardrop fallen on my sleeve.

From: LaFleur, William R. (ed. and transl.) Awesome Nightfall: The Life, Times, and Poetry of Saigyō, 2012, Wisdom Publications: Boston, p. 86.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=1Dk6AwAAQBAJ)

Date: 12th century (original in Japanese); 2003 (translation in English)

By: Saigyō Hōshi (Satō Norikiyo) (1118-1190)

Translated by: William R. LaFleur (1936-2010)

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Hymn to Saint Nicholas by Godric of Finchale

Saint Nicholas, God’s servant dear,
Build us a hall, shining and clear,
So when we travel from birth to death
And move beyond this earthly breath,
Saint Nicholas, you can lead us there.

From: Williamson, Craig (ed. and transl.), The Complete Old English Poems, 2017, University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, p. 1109.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=yZkFDgAAQBAJ)

Date: 12th century (original); 2017 (translation)

By: Godric of Finchale (c1065-1170)

Translated by: Craig Williamson (1943- )

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Lines 1-40 from “Merlin” by Robert de Boron with approximate translation into modern English by flusteredduck

Now gyneth the devel to wraththen him sore
(as aftir scholen ȝe herkene & here wel more),
whanne that oure lord to helle wente,
and took owt Adam with good entente,
and also Eve, and ek others mo,
þat with him he likede forto han tho.
and whanne þe develis behelden this,
moche drede and merveille they hadden, i-wis.
So, as aftyrward longe be-felle,
to-gederis they conseilled, the develis, ful snelle,
and token hem to-gederis in parlement,
the maister-develis, be on assent,
and seiden: “what mester man is he, this,
that doth us here al this distress?
we mown not aȝens him maken defens,
whanne he is owht in owre presens,
and bynemeth us that we scholde have,
and for hym non thing mowen we kepen save.
For we supposede, ful verrayly,
that non man scholde he bom of wommans body,
that alle owre they weren be ryht,
but he hem benemeth us be his myht.
Sey, how was this ȝoman bore,
be whom owre ryht is thus forlore?”
thanne answerede anothir devel,
and, as him thowhte, he answerede wel:
“we haven herd, sein be prophecye
that God in Erthe here scholde dye
Forto saven the Synneris here,
that of Adam and Eve come in fere.
Anon wenten we thanne hem to prove,
and evere weren they stedfast jn goddis love,
and the more turment we diden hem do,
Evere the ferthere they weren us fro,
So that evere in here moste peyne
To hem aperede he, in certeygne,
and hem comforted so wondirly wel,
that owre tormentes greved hem nevere a del,
and evere in here moste distresse
he hem deliverede to Sikirnesse.”

Lines 1-40 from “Merlin”

Now began the devil to be sore wrathful
(as after you should listen and hear well more),
when that our lord to hell went,
and took out Adam with good intent,
and also Eve, and many similar others,
that he liked to struggle with,
and when the devils beheld this,
much dread and terror they had, I assume.
So, as afterward long befell,
together they counselled, the devils, full eagerly,
and arranged them together in parliament,
the master devils, by agreement,
and said: “what kind of man is he, this,
that causes us all here such distress?
we are unable to overcome him despite our defences,
when he is ever in our presences,
and takes away from us that we should have,
and no strike we deliver or anything we do overcomes him.
For we supposed, full truly,
that no man born of woman’s body,
that were not over us all by right,
but he overcame us by his might.
Say, how is this human born,
by whom our right is thus forfeited?”
then answered another devil,
and, as he thought, answered well:
“have not we heard, and has since be prophesised
that God on Earth should die
For to save the sinners here,
that since Adam and Eve come in fear.
Again and again they came here to be punished.
and even if they were steadfast in god’s love,
and the more we tormented them,
Ever the further they resisted us.
So that ever here in the most pain,
To them appeared he, in certainty,
and them comforted so wonderfully well,
that our torments grieved them never a deal,
and ever in here most distress,
he them delivered to tranquillity.”

From: Lovelich, Henry and Kock, Dr. Ernst A. (ed.), Merlin, A Middle-English Metrical Version of a French Romance, by Henry Lovelich, Skinner and Citizen of London (ab. 1450 A.D.), Part 1, 1904, Early English Text Society: London, pp.
(https://archive.org/details/merlinamiddleen00lovegoog)

Date: 12th century (original in French); 15th century (translation in English)

By: Robert de Boron (late 12th-early 13th century)

Translated by: Henry Lovelich (15th century)

Monday, 6 June 2016

Ode IV by Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd

My choice, a slim, fair, comely girl,
tall, lovely in her heather-coloured gown.
My chosen experience, to look at womanliness
when it quietly utters a seemly thought.
My choice is to share with and be with a girl
privately, with secrets and with gifts.
My choice, fair colour of the wave,
wise one in your country, is your elegant Welsh.
You are my choice. How do I stand with you?
Why are you silent, my pretty silence?
I’ve chosen a girl of whom I’ll not repent:
it’s right to choose a lovely girl of choice.

From: Williams, Gwyn (tr. & ed.), Welsh Poems: 6th Century to 1600, 1974, University of California Press: Berkeley and Los Angeles, p. 42.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=GzYawdzshXAC)

Date: 12th century (original); 1974 (translation)

By: Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd (c1120-1170)

Translated by: David Gwyn Williams (1904-1990)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

My Eyes Have Seen and Chosen by Meinloh of Sevelingen

My eyes have seen and chosen     for me a handsome youth
And other women envy     my fortune but, in truth,
I only seek to show him     that I am sweet and kind
and to this end give over     my heart and all my mind.
Whoever held his favor     before he was my own
has lost him with good reason,
yet I’ll feel only sorrow     to see her stand alone.

From: Walsøe-Engel, Ingrid (ed.), German Poetry from the Beginnings to 1750, 1992, Continuum: New York, p. 21.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=zB7K9EVCqfkC)

Date: 12th century (original); 1992 (translation)

By: Meinloh of Sevelingen (12th century)

Translated by: J. W. Thomas (19??- )