Muspilli Part III (25-43)

Go to Part II

uue demo in uinstri scal    sino uirina stuen, 25
prinnan in pehhe:    daz ist rehto paluuic dink,
daz der man haret ze gote    enti imo hilfa ni quimit.
uuanit sih kinada    diu uuenaga sela:
ni ist in kihuctin    himiliskin gote,
uuanta hiar in uuerolti    after ni uuerkota. 30
so denne der mahtigo khuninc    daz mahal kipannit,
dara scal queman    chunno kilihaz:
denne ni kitar parno nohhein    den pan furisizzan,
ni allero manno uuelih    ze demo mahale sculi.
dar scal er uora demo rihhe    az rahhu stantan, 35
pi daz er in uuerolti eo    kiuuerkot hapeta.
daz hortih rahhon    dia uueroltrehtuuison,
daz sculi der antichristo    mit Eliase pagan.
der uuarch ist kiuuafanit,    denne uuirdit untar in uuic arhapan.
khenfun sint so kreftic    diu kosa ist so mihhil. 40
Elias stritit    pi den euuigon lip,
uuili den rehtkernon    daz rihhi kistarkan:
pidiu scal imo helfan    der himiles kiuualtit.

25   uue ‘woe!’—demo has an elliptical nominative counterpart der = ‘woe to him who …’—uirina (fem. ō) ‘sins’ with u written for /f/—stuen (1 stuoen) ‘atone for, pay the penalty for’ < *stōwjan

26   prinnan in pehhe is in apposition to sino uirina stuendaz is a placeholder pronoun looking forward to daz … in the following line—paluuic ‘evil’ *balw-īg-az from balo ‘evil’ cf. baleful

27   haret (3 harēn) ‘shouts, cries out’; note the indicative, not optative, in this line; it is no hypothetical scenario but one that, from the narrator’s perspective, is vividly happening now

28   uuanit (1 uuānen) ‘hopes for’ cf. archaic English ween ‘to consider, suppose’; built from uuān ‘hope, expectation’ > Ger. Wahnsih is dative = ‘for itself’—kinada ‘mercy, clemency’ cf. Ger. Gnadeuuenaga ‘miserable, wretched’ cf. wenig

29   ist supply the subject ‘it’ = the soul in question—kihuctin (fem. i gi-hugd dative plural) ‘thoughts, memories’; shares a root with l. 23 huckan ‘to think’—himiliskin gote is dative of reference: the thoughts in question belong to the himiliskin gote

30   after adverb ‘afterwards, hereafter’—uuerkota (2 uuerkōn) ‘accomplish, did work’; note that this must be translated as intransitive as we are not given a direct object

31   denne ‘when (relative)’; its correlative is l. 32 dara ‘then’—mahal ‘judgement, tribunal’—kipannit (VII gi-bannan) ‘demands, mandates’

32   chunno (neut. ja kunni genitive plural) ‘families, races’—kilihaz (neut. a nominative singular) technically = Ger. gleich ‘alike’ < *ga-līkaz, but here better read as Ger. jeglich ‘each, every’ < io (as in l. 36) + gi-līh

33   ni … ni ‘neither … nor’ even though the entirety of l. 34 is essentially a restatement of parno nohheinkitar (gi-tar) ‘dares to’ < *ga-dars < PIE *dʰers- cf. θαρσέω ‘take courage,’ θρασύς ‘audacious’—parno (neut. a barn genitive plural) lit. ‘children’ but freq. = ‘people’—nohhein ‘not one, none’ cf. Ger. kein, Dutch geen; parno nohhein lit. ‘not one of people’ = ‘no person’; cf. l. 18 allero manno uuelihemopan (masc. a) ‘decree, judgement; ban, proscription’ related to l. 31 kipannitfurisizzan (V -sitzen) ‘neglect, miss out on’

34   uuelih ‘whichsoever’ a relative pronoun, the subject of sculisculi (skulan) ‘shall’ = ‘must’; optative because uuelih does not refer to a specific individual; an elliptical verb of motion (e.g. gangan) must be assumed with sculi

35   rihhe (masc. ja rīhhi dative singular) ‘powerful’; a substantivization of the adjective = ‘the mighty one’ < *rīkijaz, a loanword from Celtic (where PIE *ē > *ī) and ultimately cognate with e.g. Latin rēxaz (cf. English at) usually takes the dative in Germanic, unlike its Latin cognate adrahhu (fem. ō rahha dative singular) ‘speech, reckoning’—stantan (VI standan) ‘stand’; the only Germanic verb to feature a nasal infix in the present tense (cf. Latin vinco~vīcī); for its relationship to stēn ‘stand,’ cf. gangan and gēn, both ‘go’

36   pi daz ‘according to what (relative)’—eo ‘ever’—kiuuerkot hapeta the poet uses an early periphrastic construction (instead of simply kiuuerkōta) to form the pluperfect ‘had wrought’

37   daz is a placeholder for the clause introduced by l. 38 dazhortih is elision of hōrta ih ‘I heard’—rahhon (2) ‘say, tell,’ related to l. 35 rahhu (cf. reckon)—uueroltrehtuuison (masc. uueralt-reht-uuīs accusative plural) a substantivization of the adjective = ‘those who are knowledgeable (uuīs) concerning the laws (reht) of the world (weralt)’

38   sculi is in indirect discourse and therefore not indicative; it has future semantics, cf. shallantichristo this has apparently been loaned into OHG as an n-stem noun—EliaseElijah‘—pagan (VII bāgan) ‘to fight, do battle’

39   uuarch (masc. a) ‘slayer, fiend, evildoer’ < *wargazkiuuafanit ‘weaponed,’ i.e. ‘in possession of a weapon’—denne ‘for, because’—untar in ‘among them’ = ‘between them’—uuic ‘battle’—arhapan (VI ir-heffen past participle) ‘raised up’ = ‘being waged’

40   khenfun (masc. jan) ‘warriors’ < *kampijaną, ultimately from Latin campus ‘field, plain’; Germanic *kampijan- ‘warrior’ is the source (through Medieval Latin and Old French) of champion&mdash;kreftic ‘powerful, strong’—kosa ‘case, dispute’ < Latin causa

41   stritit (I strītan) ‘fights’—pi here = ‘for the sake of’

42   uuili ‘wishes to’; formally an optative <*wiljai ‘may wish’; the subject is l. 41 Eliasrehtkernon (masc. dative plural) ‘righteous, just’; a substantivization of the adjective = ‘for the righteous ones’; the compound means ‘yearning (gern) for justice (reht)’—rihhi (neut. ja accusative singular) ‘kingdom’—kistarkan (1 gi-sterken) ‘to strengthen, solidify’

43   scal future semantics = ‘shall’; the subject is an implied pronoun er, the antecedent of the relative derhimiles a genitive object, as freq. required by verbs of governance, cf. ‘be in charge of,‘ also cf. Il. 1.38 “Τενέδοιό τε ἶφι ἀνάσσεις”—kiuualtit (VII gi-waltan) ‘commands, rules’

Woe unto him who in darkness shall pay the penalty for his sins, 25
burn in hell-fire; it is truly a wicked thing
that the man calls out to God and help does not come to him.
The wretched soul hopes for mercy for itself;
It is not in the thoughts of the heavenly God,
since it afterwards did no work here in the world. 30
Thus when the mighty king demands a tribunal,
every people shall come there;
Then nobody will dare miss the decree,
not any person who must go to the tribunal.
There he shall stand before the mighty one in reckoning 35
of whatever he had wrought in the world.
I heard those knowledgeable in the laws of the world say
that the Antichrist will do battle with Elijah.
The enemy is armed, for a battle will be waged between them.
The warriors are so powerful, the dispute is so great. 40
Elijah will fight for eternal life,
wishes to strengthen the kingdom for the righteous ones.
Therefore he who rules heaven shall help him.

Go to Part IV

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