minstrel: help with OE

Justin Eiler taliesin_o at juno.com
Thu Feb 15 13:42:23 PST 2001

On Wed, 14 Feb 2001 12:26:12 +0000 "J.A.McGowan"
<sela at goshawk.clara.co.uk> writes:
> Praetlic is thes pealstan; pyrde gebraecon,
> burgstede burston, brosnadd enta gepeorc.
> Hrofas sins gehrorene, hreorge torras,
> hrungeat berofen, hrim on lime,
> scearde scurbeorge scorene, gedorene,
> Aeldo undereotone.  Eorddgrop hafadd
> paldendpyrhtan, forpeorone, geleorene
> heard gripe hrusan, oth hund cnea
> pertheoda gepitan.  Oft thaes pag gebad,
> raeghar and readfah, rice aefter othrum,
> ofstondem under stormum; steap geap gedreas.

This from a friend of mine (not SCA, but currently studying OE and a few
other Germanic dialects):

> "This piece is legit.  It is from Codex Exoniensis.  A collection of
> Anglo-Saxon poetry, from a MS. in the library of the Dean and 
> Chapter of Exeter, by Benjamin Thorpe, London, 1842.  I think 
> this would be folio 124a, page 476"

He's also offered to try to translate, but has said there may be some
mis-spellings: line 3 may read:

> Hrofas sind gehrorene (not sins)  "Roofs are fallen...

> I think there are some spelling problems here -- there are letters 
> in Old English that resemble modern letters but are entirely different.

> One OE w, and one of the two letters for th both can be difficult to 
> distinguish from the letter that is now w.  The other th letter can be 
> confused with the modern d.

That part was mostly for me, since I have no knowledge of Anglo-Saxon.
(Persona comment: "What would a good Welshman be doing reading the vile
scrawlings of that horrid people?" <g>)
> Did he find this as part of a manuscript in Insular Miniscule script? 
> (looks like Celtic script)
> It appears indeed to be Old English.  I can say that it is a 
> poem, written in the same form as Beowulf, alliterative 
> verse, lines in two parts, connectected by the alliteration 
> pattern.
> Poetry is much more difficult to accurately translate than 
> prose.  I'll see what I can do, but if your friend has any other 
> clues they would be helpful.

Justin W. Eiler  -- "Veritas Versus Mundi"
taliesin_o <AT> juno.com

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