from "JUDITH"lines 15-61
Anon.prose trans. S.A.J.Bradley(from Anglo-Saxon)
........................................
........................................
X

Hie ða to ðam symble...... sittan eodon,
wlance to wingedrince,...... ealle his weagesiðas,
bealde byrnwiggende....... Þær wæron bollan steape
boren æfter bencum gelome,...... swylce eac bunan and orcas
fulle flettsittendum:...... hie þæt fæge þægon
rofe rondwiggende,...... þeah ðæs se rica ne wende,
egesfull eorla dryhten....... Ða wearð Olofernus,
goldwine gumena,...... on gytesalum;
hloh and hlydde,...... hlynede and dynede,
þæt mihten fira bearn...... feorran gehyran,
hu se stiðmoda......styrmde and gylede,
modig and medugal...... manode geneahhe
bencsittende...... þæt hi gebærdon wel.
Swa se inwidda......ofer ealne dæg
dryhtguman sine...... drencte mid wine,
swiðmod sinces brytta,...... oð þæt hie on swiman lagon,
oferdrencte his duguðe ealle,...... swylce hie wæron deaðe
geslegene,

So they went and settled down to the feasting, insolent men to the wine-drinking, all those brash armoured warriors, his confederates in evil. Deep bowls were borne continually along the benches there and brimming goblets and pitchers as well to the hall-guests. They drank it down as doomed men, those celebrated shield-wielders - though the great man, the awe-some lord over evils, did not foresee it. Then Holofernes, the bountiful lord of his men, grew merry with tippling. He laughed and bawled and roared and made a racket so that the children of men could hear from far away how the stern-minded man bellowed and yelled, insolent and flown with mead, and frequently exhorted the guests on the benches to enjoy themselves well. So the whole day long the villain, the stern-minded dispenser of treasure, plied his retainers with wine until they lay unconscious, the whole of his retinue drunk as though they had been struck dead, drained of every faculty.
agotene goda gehwylces....... Swa het se gumena baldor
fylgan flettsittendum,...... oð þæt fira bearnum
nealæhte niht seo þystre....... Het ða niða geblonden
þa eadigan mægð...... ofstum fetigan
to his beddreste...... beagum gehlæste,
hringum gehrodene...... Hie hraðe fremedon
ambyhtscealcas,...... swa him heora ealdor bebead,
byrnwigena brego:...... bearhtme stopon
to pam gysterne,...... þær hie Iudithe
fundon ferhðgleawe,...... and ða fromlice
lindwiggende...... lædan ongunnon
þa torhtan mægð...... to træfe þam hean,
þær se rica hyne...... reste on symbel,
nihtes inne,...... Nergende lað
Thus the men's elder commanded the hall-guests to be minis tered to until the dark night closed in on the children of men. Then, being wickedly promiscuous, he commanded the blessed virgin, decked with bracelets and adorned with rings, to be fetched in a hurry to his bed. The attendants promptly did as their master, the ruler of armoured warriors, required them. They went upon the instant to the guest-hall where they found the astute Judith, and then the shield-wielding warriors speed ily conducted the noble virgin to the lofty pavilion where the great man always rested of a night, Holofernes, abhorrent to the Saviour.
Olofernus.......Þær wæs eallgylden
fleohnett fæger...... ymbe þæs folctogan
bedd ahongen,...... þæt se bealofulla
mihte wlitan þurb,...... wigena baldor,
on æghwylcne...... þe ðær-inne com
hæleða bearna,...... and on hyne nænig
monna cynnes,...... nymðe se modiga hwæne
niðe rofra...... him þe near hete
There was an elegant all-golden fly-net there, hung about the commandant's bed so that the debauched hero of his soldiers could spy through on every one of the sons of men who came in there, but no one of humankind on him, unless, brave man, he summoned one of his evilly-renowned soldiers to go nearer to him for a confidential talk.
rinca to rune gegangan....... Hie ða on reste gebrohton
snude ða snoteran idese;...... eodon þa sweorcendferhðe
hæleð heora hearran cyðan....... þæt wæs seo halige meowle
gebroht on his burgetelde....... Þa wearð se brema on mode
bliðe burga ealdor,...... þohte ða beorhtan idese
mid widle and mid womme besmitan;......ne wolde þæt wuldres
Dema
geðafian, þrymmes Hyrde, ac he...... him þæs þinges gestyrde,
Dryhten, dugeða Waldend.
Hastily, then, they brought the shrewd lady to bed. Then they went, stout-hearted heroes, to inform their master that the holy woman had been brought to his pavilion. The man of mark, lord over cities then grew jovial of mood: he meant to defile the noble lady with filth and with pollution. To that heaven's judge, Shepherd of the celestial multitude, would not consent but rather he, the Lord, Ruler of the hosts, prevented him from the act.
........................................
........................................

Transl. copyright David Campbell Publishers Ltd., 1982 - publ. Everyman


...buy this book
next
index
translator's next