Welcome to the discussion forum of Ða Engliscan Gesiðas for all matters relating to the history, language and culture of Anglo-Saxon England. I hope it will provide a useful source of information, stimulate research, and be of real help. Ða Engliscan Gesiðas (The English Companions) maintains a strictly neutral line on all modern and current political and religious matters and it does not follow any particular interpretation of history. Transgression of this Rule will not be tolerated. Any posts which are perceived as breaking this Rule will be deleted with immediate effect without explanation.

Author Topic: The Pied Piper of Hamelin  (Read 22268 times)

David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« on: January 07, 2017, 05:49:16 PM »



The Pied Piper of Hamelin                                          Se Fāga Pīpere Hamelines
 
I have done a prose translation of verse 1 of this poem.
 
Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,                                   Hamelin burg is in EaldSeaxlande,
 By famous Hanover city;                                           Be cūþum Hanover  ceastre;
 The river Weser, deep and wide,                                Sēo ǣ Weser, dēop and brād,
 Washes its wall on the southern side;                       Hrīnþ hiere burgweall æt sūþhealfe;
 A pleasanter spot you never spied;                           Ġecwēmliċra prica þū næfre sāwe;
 But, when begins my ditty,                                       Ac, þā beġinþ mīn lēoþ,
 Almost five hundred years ago,                                 Fulnēah fīf hund ġēaras ġēo,
 To see the townsfolk suffer so                                   Sēon þā burgfolc adrēogaþ swā
 From vermin, was a pity.                                           Forðǣm dēor, wæs earmung.


Blackdragon

  • thegn
  • ***
  • Posts: 212
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 08:09:07 PM »
Was you aware that there is an English version of the Hamelin story? 3 pipers make a deal with some witches of Beccles, Suffolk to put magic in their instruments., They strike a bargain with the town council and lure all the plague of rats into the River Waveny. The good people of Beccles place the money (45,000 marks) on the table for them to collect but they never do, and disappear. However, at the same time each year 3 ghosts are heard piping a tune near the river Waveny! I once wrote a version of the tale in one of my books as well as making a song from it. :-\

John Nicholas Cross

  • Guest
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 11:09:51 PM »
Also of interest, is that this folk tale may be a folk memory of the 'Children's Crusade' of 1212 AD.  Quite a thought?

David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 03:25:41 PM »
The Pied Piper of Hamelin                                         Se Fāga Pīpere Hamelines
 
I have done a prose translation of the first two verses of this poem. So far I have had a couple of interesting replies but neither about the translation. I do not know how long I will continue if this carries on like that.  There were a few problems and in the last line I have changed the translation of “vermin” from “dēor” to “fūl dēor"”
 
Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,                                   Hamelin burg is in EaldSeaxlande,
By famous Hanover city;                                           Be cūþum Hanover  ceastre;
The river Weser, deep and wide,                                Sēo ǣ Weser, dēop and brād,
Washes its wall on the southern side;                       Hrīnþ hiere burgweall æt sūþhealfe;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;                           Ġecwēmliċra prica þū næfre sāwe;
But, when begins my ditty,                                       Ac, þā beġinþ mīn lēoþ,
Almost five hundred years ago,                                 Fulnēah fīf hund ġēaras ġēo,
To see the townsfolk suffer so                                   Sēon þā burgfolc adrēogaþ swā
From vermin, was a pity.                                           Forðǣm fūl dēor, wæs earmung.
 
Rats!                                                                         Rætas!
They fought the dogs and killed the cats,                  Hīe ġefeohtaþ þā hund and ācweliaþ þā cattas,
And bit the babies in the cradles,                              And biton þā lȳtlingas in þǣm cradolum,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,                         And ǣton þā ċysas  ūt of þā fatu,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,       And liċċodon þæt broð fram þāra cōca āgenra hlædelas,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,                         Clufon rȳman þā fatu ġesyltra sprotta,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,                      Macodon nest innan manna Sunesdæġes hætum,
And even spoiled the women's chats,                        And furðum mierredon þāra mōtunga,
By drowning their speaking                                       Þurh ādyfan hiera ġemaðel
With shrieking and squeaking                                    Þurh ċirmane and hwicunge
In fifty different sharps and flats.                               Unġemede unġemet.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 03:28:34 PM by David »

Bowerthane

  • Guest
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 03:48:12 PM »
__________
Sunesdæġes
__________

Shouldn’t that be sunnandæġes?

__________
ūt of þā fatu
__________

Is the ūt strictly necessary?

______________________________________________
And liċċodon þæt broð fram þāra cōca āgenra hlædelas,
______________________________________________

I would have rendered this as And liċċodon þæt broð ūt þāra cōca āgenra hlædelas, too.

For ‘vermin’ why not *mūscynne?  I always try to be as specific as can be, and fūl dēor isn’t exactly giving away a lot to the Russians.

Also, did you try to see if Old Saxon forms of Hamelin, Hanover, Brunswick and Weser are recorded, or anything early enough to see whether etymological translations could be made?  I had a notion to use Old Saxon to render the three sentences of Modern German dialogue in my script of Sucker Punch, but googling failed to turn up much that seemed trustworthy about Old Saxon ( and Old High German was worse), only that it seemed so ill-recorded it left me wondering whether it was worth further trouble.  However, if memory serves ‘Weser’ is just an archaic cognate of Modern German Wasser, ‘water’. In which case you could get away with Sēo ǣ Wæter, or make a proper noun of the Old Saxon word for ‘water’ if you can find it. I wonder also if the ‘-over’ end of Hanover is cognate with Old English ofer for ‘bank ( of a body of water)’, so something like *Hanofer would be better integrated.  As for Brunswick, I’ll bet that could transliterate as *Brúnwíc, and I wonder if Hamelin itself could be Hamelingas?

Ah, you can use prica for ‘spot’! Can you?  I couldn’t seem to nail an instance of it for ‘specific location’ I was happy with, only for ‘grubby mark’, in Old English usage. I plumped for plot or splott, so please liberate me if I’m wrong because I don’t much like them in the sense I’ve settled for.   






David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 06:06:00 PM »
Thank you Bowerthane. I was completely wrong on the first point.

I am happy to go along with what you say with the next two.

I am not happy with “mūscynne”. The point was that he was not specific until the next line where we get “rats”.

I am a bit wary about “translating” place names after “Hlāfhūs” and the Anglo-Saxons did actually use that.

Splott might be better than prica as prica tends to be very small.

David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 04:10:29 PM »
I have now translated the first three verses.
 
The Pied Piper of Hamelin                                          Se Fāga Pīpere Hamelines
 
Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,                                   Hamelin burg is in EaldSeaxlande,
 By famous Hanover city;                                           Be cūþum Hanover  ceastre;
 The river Weser, deep and wide,                                Sēo ǣ Weser, dēop and brād,
 Washes its wall on the southern side;                       Hrīnþ hiere burgweall æt sūþhealfe;
 A pleasanter spot you never spied;                           Ġecwēmliċra splott þū næfre sāwe;
 But, when begins my ditty,                                       Ac, þā beġinþ mīn lēoþ,
 Almost five hundred years ago,                                 Fulnēah fīf hund ġēaras ġēo,
 To see the townsfolk suffer so                                   Sēon þā burgfolc adrēogaþ swā
 From vermin, was a pity.                                           Forðǣm fūl dēor, wæs earmung.
 
Rats!                                                                         Rætas!
 They fought the dogs and killed the cats,                 Hīe ġefeohtaþ þā hund and ācweliaþ þā cattas,
 And bit the babies in the cradles,                              And biton þā lȳtlingas in þǣm cradolum,
 And ate the cheeses out of the vats,                        And ǣton þā ċysas ūt þā fatu,
 And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,      And liċċodon þæt broð ūt þāra cōca āgenra hlædelas,
 Split open the kegs of salted sprats,                        Clufon rȳman þā fatu ġesyltra sprotta,
 Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,                     Macodon nest innan manna Sunnandæġes hætum,
 And even spoiled the women's chats,                       And furðum mierredon þāra mōtunga,
 By drowning their speaking                                      Þurh ādyfan hiera ġemaðel
 With shrieking and squeaking                                   Þurh ċirmane and hwicunge
 In fifty different sharps and flats.                             Unġemede unġemet.
 
At last the people in a body                                     Æt nyhstan þæt folc teofenodon
 To the Town Hall came flocking:                              Cumanne tō þǣm burgsæle:
 “Tis clear,'' cried they, “our Mayor's a noddy;          “Hit is ġeswutelung” cwædon hīe “ūre Burgealdor is hnoc”
 And as for our Corporation -- shocking                   And swā ġeondscēawan ūre Ġield  -- scamaþ
 To think we buy gowns lined with ermine                 Þencan þe wē bycgaþ  brattas mid hearmascinnenum  fnadum
 For dolts that can't or won't determine                    For sottum þe ne magon nyllaþ ġerǣdan
 What's best to rid us of our vermin!                         Þe is betst tō āhreddanne ūs of ūrum dēorum!
 You hope, because you're old and obese,                Ġē hopiaþ, forðǣm ġē sind ealde and oferfǣtte, 
 To find in the furry civic robe ease?                          Findan in þæs scynnes burgrēafe īeþnesse?
 Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking               Onstyraþ, menn! Āhrēraþ ēowere brægen
 To find the remedy we're lacking,                             Findan þā bōte þe wē forðoliaþ,
 Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!''                 Oððe, sicor swā wyrd, wē ēow tōforlǣtaþ!”
 At this the Mayor and Corporation                           Æt þissum se Burgealdor and þæt Ġield                   
 Quaked with a mighty consternation.                      Cwaciaþ mid mihtiġre swearcmodnesse.

David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2017, 04:46:04 PM »
As I feared this looks as though it is too heavy going for ġegaderung but I have now translated the first four verses anyway.
 
The Pied Piper of Hamelin                                            Se Fāga Pīpere Hamelines
 
Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,                                    Hamelin burg is in EaldSeaxlande,
 By famous Hanover city;                                           Be cūþum Hanover  ceastre;
 The river Weser, deep and wide,                                Sēo ǣ Weser, dēop and brād,
 Washes its wall on the southern side;                        Hrīnþ hiere burgweall æt sūþhealfe;
 A pleasanter spot you never spied;                            Ġecwēmliċra splott þū næfre sāwe;
 But, when begins my ditty,                                        Ac, þā beġinþ mīn lēoþ,
 Almost five hundred years ago,                                  Fulnēah fīf hund ġēaras ġēo,
 To see the townsfolk suffer so                                    Sēon þā burgfolc adrēogaþ swā
 From vermin, was a pity.                                            Forðǣm fūl dēor, wæs earmung.
 
Rats!                                                                          Rætas!
 They fought the dogs and killed the cats,                  Hīe ġefeohtaþ þā hund and ācweliaþ þā cattas,
 And bit the babies in the cradles,                               And biton þā lȳtlingas in þǣm cradolum,
 And ate the cheeses out of the vats,                          And ǣton þā ċysas ūt þā fatu,
 And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,       And liċċodon þæt broð ūt þāra cōca āgenra hlædelas,
 Split open the kegs of salted sprats,                          Clufon rȳman þā fatu ġesyltra sprotta,
 Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,                      Macodon nest innan manna Sunnandæġes hætum,
 And even spoiled the women's chats,                        And furðum mierredon þāra mōtunga,
 By drowning their speaking                                        Þurh ādyfan hiera ġemaðel
 With shrieking and squeaking                                     Þurh ċirmane and hwicunge
 In fifty different sharps and flats.                                Unġemede unġemet.
 
At last the people in a body                                        Æt nyhstan þæt folc teofenodon
 To the Town Hall came flocking:                                 Cumanne tō þǣm burgsæle:
 “Tis clear,'' cried they, “our Mayor's a noddy;             “Hit is ġeswutelung” cwædon hīe “ūre Burgealdor is hnoc”
 And as for our Corporation -- shocking                      And swā ġeondscēawan ūre Ġield  -- scamaþ
 To think we buy gowns lined with ermine                    Þencan þe wē bycgaþ  brattas mid hearmascinnenum  fnadum
 For dolts that can't or won't determine                       For sottum þe ne magon nyllaþ ġerǣdan
 What's best to rid us of our vermin!                            Þe is betst tō āhreddanne ūs of ūrum dēorum!
 You hope, because you're old and obese,                   Ġē hopiaþ, forðǣm ġē sind ealde and oferfǣtte, 
 To find in the furry civic robe ease?                             Findan in þæs scynnes burgrēafe īeþnesse?
 Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking                  Onstyraþ, menn! Āhrēraþ ēowere brægen
 To find the remedy we're lacking,                                Findan þā bōte þe wē forðoliaþ,
 Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!''                    Oððe, sicor swā wyrd, wē ēow tōforlǣtaþ!”
 At this the Mayor and Corporation                              Æt þissum se Burgealdor and þæt Ġield                   
 Quaked with a mighty consternation.                         Cwaciaþ mid mihtiġre swearcmodnesse.
 
An hour they sat in council,                                       Hīe sǣton in ġemōt for ānre tīde,
 At length the Mayor broke silence:                            Æt nȳhstan se Burgealdor bræc stillness:
 “For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell;                     “For peninge iċ cȳpe mīnre hearmascinnenum bratt;
 I wish I were a mile hence!                                        Iċ wille þe iċ sīe mīl hēonan!
 It's easy to bid one rack one's brain --                      Biddan þe mann āhreraþ āgen brægen --
 I'm sure my poor head aches again,                          Iċ eom ġewiss þe mīn earme hēafod æcþ eft,
 I've scratched it so, and all in vain                             Iċ hit clāwode swā, and eall īdel
 Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!''                                     Ēalā for feallan, feallan, feallan!” 
 Just as he said this, what should hap                        Efne swā sæġde hē þis, hwæt ġelimpþ
 At the chamber door but a gentle tap?                      Ac man cnucode smoltlīce æt þæs būres dūra?
 “Bless us,'' cried the Mayor, “what's that?''               “Bletsiaþ ūs,” ċirmþ se Burgealdor, “hwæt is þæt?”
 (With the Corporation as he sat,                               (swā sæt hē mid þǣm Ġield,
 Looking little though wondrous fat;                           Ætīewede lȳtel þēah wrǣlīce fǣtt; 
 Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister                        Ne beorhtre wæs his ēage ne fūhtre
 Than a too-long-opened oyster,                                 Ðonne tō lange open ostre,
 Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous          Būton þonne æt middæġtīd his fǣtt maga wearþ unġerecliċ
 For a plate of turtle green and glutinous)                   For disc sæbyrdes grēnes and clibbores)
 "Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?                      “Ǣnliċ scearfung scōna on þǣre meattan? 
 Anything like the sound of a rat                                 Āwiht ġelīċ se swēġ rætes
 Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!''                                   Dēþ mine heortan slecgēttan pit-apat!”
 

Bowerthane

  • Guest
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2017, 02:32:39 PM »

Did you overlook stund for ‘hour’?  I see now that tīd can be ‘hour’ too, but the impression I get from Old English usage is they use stund when they intend to be specific.

“And even spoiled the women's chats,”

And furðum mierredon þāra mōtunga,

Where’s the ‘women’s’?



“In fifty different sharps and flats.”

Unġemede unġemet.

Don’t go away...





David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 03:50:03 PM »
Thank you for your comments Bowerthane.
 
I did not overlook “stund”, I just have not seen it before. I used “tīd” as it is the only word that I have specicifcally seen to mean hour. It looks as though stund, like tīd, can specifically mean hour or just generally a period of time.
 
Missing out “women’s” was just a slip. I was probably wondering which word to use as I do not really like any of them. I would probably plump for “wīfa”. In the modern English the “-‘s” in the plural is interesting. “Men’s” seems normal and I could probably stretch to “feet’s” and “teeth’s” in some circumstances but I cannot imagine “mice’s”. I think that I would have to use “of mice”
 
“In fifty sharps and flats” was too idiomatic for me. I had to try a much freer  translation. 

Bowerthane

  • Guest
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2017, 03:03:13 PM »

I’m back.


_____________________________
“In fifty different sharps and flats.”

Unġemede unġemet.
_____________________________

_________________________________________________________________________
“In fifty sharps and flats” was too idiomatic for me. I had to try a much freer  translation.
_________________________________________________________________________


Now call me “Mister Picky” but, a) Old English has the adjective scearp in the sense ‘sharp of speech’,  ‘energetic, sharp ( of medicine, sight, intellect)’ and the adverbial form includes ‘keenly ( of seeing)’ so I think, as a poetic metaphor, you’d get away with anticipating the noun for ‘sharp note’ here.  Also b) although Modern English ‘flat’ is a loan word from Old Norse not recorded until after the Conquest, cǽġ was nowhere near the meaning of modern ‘key’ as in ‘musical key’,  and Old English has no very good equivalent to ‘parp’, ‘blat’ or ‘sound a duck makes’ ( that I can find), it does seem to have the strong masculine noun fnæst for ‘blowing, blast, breath, voice; puff, flatus’ as well as the strong feminine swóretung with one or two Ts for‘deep drawing of the breath, sigh ( as a sign of trouble), sobbing, moaning, breathing hard from illness or labour, hard breathing, gasping, panting.’

So I’d put my money on:


On fīftig scearpum and swórettungum and unġelícum


With an option on:


On fīftig scearpum and fnæstum and unġelícum



( Though I can’t help but notice that the adjective efen means ‘even ( temper)’ but smēþe includes ‘soothing’ and ‘harmonious ( sound)’, so maybe you’d get away with those, too.)

 
Or of course we can all go and do something sensible.  But are you like me, David, in that you find that the daffiness of incongruous material ain’t that daft, because they generate all the best intellectual challenges?  Not so long ago I downloaded the lyric to The Monster Mash, a comedy chart topper I remember from the early 1970s, to join Ouch! by The Rutles ( Eric Idle’s send-up of Help! by The Beatles), Suicide is Painless from M*A*S*H, Stonehenge by Spinal Tap, The Vegetation by Peter Cook and others with an eye to rendering them into the Old Mother Tongue, one fine day.  Already The Monster Mash has made me realise how subjective differences between modern dances have become, and what a challenge it will be to distinguish between a ‘mash’ and a ‘jive’ in the language of Bede and Beowulf, for instance.

I feel sure this is exercising my mental muscles, somehow.


( Oh yes ġesíþas, you have been warned! Though when I last got a clear run at it, I was on the last ‘nip and tuck’ stage of a rendering of The Song of Deborah from the Old Testament.  Developed an interest in it through my kiddies’ book because, when I last got a clear run at that, I was tackling Mercia’s 911 witanmoot when they discuss whether to hazard the wyrd of Free Mercia on such a bizarre novelty as petticoat rule, with the churchmen arguing the biblical precedents. 

So if you do get any Old English translation out of me sooner rather than later, it’ll be something sensible for a change.)



David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2017, 06:23:42 PM »
Bowerthane, I appreciate your efforts.


I was coming up with something similar but felt that it did not have the same meaning in old English.

David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2017, 09:47:07 AM »
I am really stuck on the old English for quaint.


Any suggestions?

Linden

  • Hlaford
  • ****
  • Posts: 391
  • Essex scirgerefa
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2017, 02:32:12 PM »
Would 'seld-cuþ' or 'seld-lic' or its variant 'sellic' do?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 02:37:05 PM by Linden »
Cræft biþ betere ðonne æhta

David

  • Ealdormann
  • *****
  • Posts: 611
Re: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2017, 06:39:02 PM »
Thank you Linden. That covers one aspect. Then ċildliċ and ǣrdæġliċ seem to cover other aspects. Maybe I want too much and should just go with your suggestion.