Muspilli Part VII (91-105)

Go to Part VI

so dar manno nohhein    uuiht pimidan ni mak,
dar scal denne hant sprehhan,    houpit sagen,
allero lido uuelihc    unzi in den luzigun uinger,
uuaz er untar desen mannun    mordes kifrumita.
dar ni ist eo so listic man    der dar iouuiht arliugan megi, 95
daz er kitarnan megi    tato dehheina,
niz al fora demo khuninge    kichundit uuerde,
uzzan er iz mit alamusanu furimegi
enti mit fastun    dio uirina kipuazti.
denne der paldet    der gipuazzit hapet, 100
denner ze deru suonu quimit.
uuirdit denne furi kitragan    daz frono chruci,
dar der heligo Christ    ana arhangan uuard.
denne augit er dio masun,    dio er in deru menniski anfenc,
dio er duruh desse mancunnes    minna fardoleta. 105

91   uuiht (fem. i) here = ‘anything’ but historically < ‘thing, living being,’ cf. wightpimidan (I bi-mīdan) ‘avoid, dodge’

92   houpit (neut. a) ‘head,’ replaced in the modern language by der Kopf, although das Haupt is still found in compounds (and, archaically, on its own); cf. head < OE hēafod; for the vocalic alternation in reconstructed *haubid-/*haubud- cf. Latin caput (nom.) but capitis (gen.)

93   lido (masc. i lid genitive plural) ‘body part’—unzi (preposition) ‘until’ but here with the force of ‘down to’—luzigun ‘little’—uinger ‘finger’ < *fingraz; possibly related to PIE *pénkʷe ‘five’

94   desen mannun is dative plural—mordes (masc./neut. mord genitive plural) ‘murder,’ a partitive genitive

95   Here is another line with twofold alliteration: l | m || l | mlistic ‘clever, crafty’—iouuiht ‘anything’ = io + uuiht, cf. the English cognate aughtarliugan (II ir-liogan) ‘lie, cheat’—megi (mugan 3sg present optative) ‘might be able’

96   dehheina (fem. accusative singular) ‘any’

97   niz = ni + iz—khuninge (masc. a dative singular) ‘king’—kichundit (1 kunden past participle) ‘made known’

98   This line seems incomplete—uzzan (conjunction) ‘except, unless,’ lit. ‘outside’—alamusanu (neut. a alamuosan accusative plural) ‘alms, sacrifice’ < Greek ἐλεημοσύνη ‘pity, mercy’—furimegi (-mugan 3sg present optative) ‘be able to, be successful at, prevail’

99   fastun (fem. ō fasta) ‘fasting’—uirina ‘sins’—kipuazti (1 gi-buozen 3sg preterite optative) ‘might atone, improve, repair’

100   denne … denne are correlative = ‘then … when (relative)’—der … der are correlative; the second der begins a relative clause—paldet (3 baldēn) ‘becomes bold, takes courage’—gipuazzit hapet is a periphrastic perfect form, rather new at this stage in the language; the older alternative would be gipuazta

101   denner = denne + er, ‘when he …’

102   uuirdit, an auxiliary verb in the passive construction (for kitragan), has chruci as its subject—furi is adverbial ‘forth,’ i.e. ‘before (the man being judged)’—kitragan (VI gi-tragan past participle) ‘brought’—frono ‘lordly,’ i.e. ‘belonging to a lord (frō)’; in this case probably = ‘holy, belonging to the Lord’—chruci (neut. ja krūci nominative singular) ‘cross’

103   dar … ana ‘on which’; dar is relative; cf. Dutch waar Christus aan werd gehangenarhangan (VII ir-hāhan) ‘hung up, crucified’—uuard is the historical preterite singular for uuerdan; in modern German ward has rather recently been replaced with wurde

104   augit (1 ougen) this verb typically means ‘shows, reveals,’ lit. ‘(puts to the) eye’ < *augijaną (cf. *augan- ‘eye’), but here apparently = ‘sees,’ since the subject er seems to be the man; cf. to eye in modern English—masun (fem. n māsa accusative plural) ‘scars, stigmata’—menniski (fem. īn dative singular) is properly ‘the state of being a mann’; therefore = ‘personhood, humanity’—anfenc (VII -fāhan 3sg preterite indicative) ‘received,’ cf. modern Ger. empfing

105   dio … is a second relative clause whose antecedent is l. 104 masunduruh here = ‘because of’ lit. ‘through,’ governs minnadesse (fem. genitive singular) goes with minnamancunnes (neut. ja genitive singular) ‘of humanity, mankind’; recall that, at this point, mann can still refer either to a male or female person—minna (fem. ō) ‘love’; the modern word Minne typically refers to the ‘courtly love’ sung of in the Minnesang genre of Middle High German lyric poetry, but OHG does not have this restricted meaning; the word is apparently from < PIE *ménh2yeh2 ‘thought, consideration’; the cognate verb in Greek, μνάομαι, tellingly has the double meaning ‘remember, be mindful of,’ and (at least in Homer) ‘woo for one’s bride, court’—fardoleta (3 -dolēn) ‘endured, tolerated, suffered’ Ger. Geduld, Old English geþyld), from the zero-grade of *tleh2– ‘endure’ (cf. Greek τλάω ‘endure’; Latin ferō ‘carry’ has two suppletive forms from this root: the perfect tulī and the participle lātus, which was tlātus before the initial cluster was simplified

No person will then be able to avoid anything,
for the hand shall speak, the head say,
each body part down to the little finger,
what murder he has done among these people.
For there has never been a man so crafty who may lie about anything, 95
so that he may conceal a single deed
and it will not be made known before the king,
unless he manage it with alms
and might atone for his sins with fasting.
Then the one who has atoned will take courage, 100
when he comes to the judgement.
The lordly cross will then be brought before him
on which the holy Christ was hanged.
Then the man will see the scars that he received while human,
that he suffered because of this love of humanity. 105


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