Friday, 14 September 2007

The Dream of the Rood

Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. To commemorate it, and also to assist me in my own prayers and in living out the spirit of this feast in my life, I offer an excerpt from the ancient English poem, "The Dream of the Rood". One of these days I will have to attempt my own translation of it, but for now I give it in the original.

Syllic wæs se sigebeam, and ic synnum fah,
forwundod mid wommum. Geseah ic wuldres treow
wædum geweorðod wynnum scinan,
gegyred mid golde, gimmas hæfdon
bewrigen weorðlice Wealdendes treow.
Hwæðre ic þurh þæt gold ongytan meahte
earmra ærgewin, þæt hit ærest ongan
swætan on þa swiðran healfe.all ic wæs mid sorgum gedrefed,
forht ic wæs for þære fægran gesyhðe; geseah ic þæt fuse beacen
wendan wædum and bleom: hwilum hit wæs mid wætan bestemed,
besyled mid swates gange, hwilum mid since gegyrwed.
Hwæðre ic þær licgende lange hwile
beheold hreowcearig Hælendes treow,
oð þæt ic gehyrde þæt hit hleoðrode…

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