31 July 2014

The Wake

[NOTE: The author has devised a type of Old English for his narrative. Most difficulties in reading come from the fact that he uses no letters not used in Old English, but the reader catches on quickly to the adjustments necessary, such as C for K, G for Y, and F for V in heofon.]


                       by Paul Kingsnorth

the night was clere though i slept i seen it. though i slept i
seen the calm hierde naht only the still. when I gan down to
sleep all was clere in the land and my dreams was full of
stillness but my dreams did not cepe me still
      when i woc in the mergen all was blaec though the night
had gan and all woulde be blaec after and for all time. a great 
wind had cum in the night and all was blown then and broc.
none had thought a wind lic this cold cum for all was blithe
lifan as they always had and who will hiere the gleoman
when the tales he tells is blaec who locs at the heafon if it
brings him regn who locs in the mere when there seems
no end to its deopness
      none will loc but the wind will com. the wind cares not for
the hopes of men
      the times after will be for them who seen them cuman

      the times after will be for the waecend

                                                       * * * * * * * *

and i seen them i seen them cuman then and always will
this stay with me until i is in the ground under a beorg or
in a great beornan scip lic all anglisc ealdors sceolde be.
ofer the fenn from the place where the hus of the eald 
gods lay over the secg ofer the heofon i seen the eald
hunters. i colde not tell all of the riders who was mofan
with them there was so many and they mofd in a way
that coulde not be loccd at for micel time by men. all was
deop blaec and there was no sound to be hierde.
      at the head of the hunt was eald woden who I had seen
at the deorc ea that night his kenep long and hwit his one
eage locan at me specan to the blaec hunds what ran
before him in the heofon their eages great and scinan and
with the hunds was the great hwit wulf I had seen by the
ea the wulf what had loccd at me. great woden rode a
great blaec hors but many of the hunters was on goats
with eages of fyr and was blowan horns though no sound
was macd by them. sum loccd lic eald cyngs with helms
and sweords but others was ealdor than cyngs ealdor
even than angland they did not loc lic men they was lic
eald wihts lic the treows them selfs blaec and carfan into
scaps not of this world. they had cum up from the treows
bum up from the mere cum up into the heofon they had
cum baec for angland lic my grand father had telt me.
they had cum for me cum for me and i cnawan now that
it was time and i cnawan what I moste do
      i gan down to my cneos then in the secg and i felt
them go ofer me and i felt great weland locan ofer as he
gaf them sige and i cnawan again who i was what i was
what i had cum here for
     i is buccmaster of holland and the eald gods has ridden
for me. 

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