Muspilli Part I (1-10)

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… sin tac piqueme,    daz er touuan scal.
uuanta sar so sih diu sela    in den sind arheuit,
enti si den lihhamun    likkan lazzit,
so quimit ein heri    fona himilzungalon,
daz andar fona pehhe:    dar pagant siu umpi. 5
sorgen mac diu sela,    unzi diu suona arget,
za uuederemo herie    si gihalot uuerde.
uuanta ipu sia daz Satanazses    kisindi kiuuinnit,
daz leitit sia sar    dar iru leid uuirdit,
in fuir enti in finstri:    daz ist rehto uirinlih ding. 10

1   piqueme (IV bi-queman 3sg present optative) ‘may arrive’—touuan (1) ‘to die’ < *daujaną

2   sar so … so ‘as soon as … (then) …’—sih … arheuit (VI ir-heffen) ‘lifts itself’; note that the reflexive can have passive semantics, ‘is lifted’—sela ‘soul’—sind ‘path, way’ < *sinþaz

3   lihhama ‘body’ < *līka-hamin- lit. ‘body-covering’ cf. Dutch lichaamlikkan (V liggen) ‘to lie’—lazzit (VII lāzan 3sg present indicative) ‘allows’; with likkan, here lazzit has a causative sense: “lets lie,” i.e. “leaves behind”

4   quimit (IV queman 3sg present indicative)—heri ‘army, host’ < *harjaz—himilzungalon ‘heaven-stars’ (neut. a-stem zungal) < PIE *denǵʰ- ‘shine’

5   pehhe (peh, Eng. pitch) ‘hell-fire’—dar … umpi ‘for its sake’; cf. Dutch Daar vechten ze om. = Ger. Darum streiten sie.pagant (VII bāgan) ‘they fight’ < *bēganą

6   sorgen (2) ‘to worry, take pains’ < *swurgēną—mac the translation ‘may’ or ‘can’ would be an understatement; here the modal semantics may be ‘must, has to’—unzi ‘until’—suona ‘reconciliation, atonement’ but here = ‘judgement’—arget (ir-gēn 3sg present indicative) ‘happens, occurs’

7   uuederemo (masc. dative singular) ‘which’—gihalot (2 gihalōn past participle) ‘received, claimed’ cf. Ger. holenuuerde (IV uuerdan 3sg present optative) here as the auxiliary verb for gihalot for a periphrastic passive

8   Satanazses (genitive singular) ‘of Satan’—kisindi ‘entourage, comitatus‘ lit. those who share the road < *ga-sinþ-ją (see sind ‘way’ above)—kiuuinnit (III gi-winnan) ‘acquires, wins’

9   leitit (1 leiten 3sg present indicative) ‘will lead’ < *laidijaną lit. ‘to cause to suffer’; there is a (perhaps unintentional) etymological pun with the alliterating word leidiru … uuirdit ‘there will be … unto it’ = ‘it will have’—leid < *laiþą ‘suffering, pain’

10   finstri ‘darkness’—rehto adverb from reht ‘right, good, true’—uirinlih (with /f/ written as u, not uncommon in OHG; see l. 2 arheuit) ‘gruesome, horrible’—ding originally ‘gathering, council’ but already in OHG freq. ‘matter, affair, thing’

… his day may come, when he must die.
For as soon as the soul is lifted onto the path,
and it leaves the body behind,
then one army will come from the heaven-stars,
the other from hell-fire; they will fight over it. 5
The soul must worry, until the judgement is made
to which army it will be received.
For if Satan’s entourage wins it,
they will lead it straightaway to where it will have suffering,
into fire in and into darkness; that is a truly horrible thing. 10

Go to Part II

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