Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Translation

This semester I have been taking a class called "Creative Writing: Translation." It's a lot of fun, and I thought some of my readers (all two or three of them, huh?) might enjoy one or two of my translations. So here goes my version of the Vexilla Regis.

The royal banners forth proceed,
The Cross shines out its mystery
By which life bore death's heavy load
And life by death gained victory.

And when the lance's dreadful blade
Did wound our Savior's holy side,
That we be cleansed from sin, his blood
And water flowed, a blessed tide.

Fulfilled is that which David sang
In faithful song of prophecy,
When to the nations he proclaimed,
"Lo, God hath reign├Ęd from the Tree."

O Tree, most fair, aglow with light,
With royal purple beautified,
Thou, chosen as a worthy wood,
To bear that body sanctified!

O blest art thou, upon whose arms
There hung the price of all mankind,
On which Our Lord, a standard set,
Rescued the souls in hell confined.

O Cross, our only hope, all hail!
In this the blessed Passion-time,
Give to the pious greater grace,
And wash away the sinner's crime.

O Trinity, Salvation's spring,
Let every soul give praise to thee,
And grant the prize to those to whom
Thou gavest the Cross' victory.


Venerable Bede said...

Hey, consider yourself lucky. The only literary class I'm taking right now is "Literary Types", which is basically me reading debased essays composed by lesbian feminists and dreadlocked pot heads decrying how much their lives suck. Sometimes university can be a real drag, you know? :)

Anyhow, very nice poem and translation. I'm not sure why, but for some reason I find it reminscient of the Dream of the Rood.

Matt Altepeter

Agnes Regina said...

Thank you, Matt! Good to see you here! Since the Vexilla Regis and the Dream are on the same subject, maybe that was the connection... and yes, my old-fashioned language might help too. I admit to loving old-style writing.

I do try to keep clear of the kind of class you mention. When I registered for "creative writing: poetry" last semester and read the list of titles, it made me so sick that I immediately withdrew from the class and went to an "Intro to Lit." that was really good... and the professor turned out to be an old friend of one of our parish families! I tell ya, God has a sense of humor....

Glad you liked the poem!

CP said...

Again thanks for the poem.

Ah the Dream of the Rood is excellent.

Wish you all the best in the studies.

Agnes Regina said...

Thanks Robert! I agree, I love the Dream of the Rood...

crusader88 said...

Now that I've chimed in, there are three indeed! I'm not presently taking any literary classes, and while I loved Intro to Literature last year, at least I'm not in the course Bede has to suffer through. And Political Science keeps me plenty busy!

Agnes Regina said...

Glad to hear it!