dream of the rood
Āhōf iċ rīċne Cyning,45 heofona Hlāford,     hyldan mē ne dorste. and all this famous creation worthy me, Þurhdrifan hī mē mid deorcan næġlum. It was as though I saw a wondrous tree 5 Towering in the sky suffused with light, Brightest of beams; and all that beacon was Covered with gold. ", Treharne, Elaine. to speak of this vision to all men for those who already bear in their breast the best of signs, here on earth, on the gallows-tree for the sins of man. ‘The Dream of the Rood’ is thus the first great Christian dream-vision poem in English literature, a precursor to the fourteenth-century Pearl and Langland’s Piers Plowman among many other later works. It is given to us in the guise of a wonderful dream, in which the narrator is spoken to directly by the Rood itself. [26] North suggests that the author of The Dream of the Rood "uses the language of this myth of Ingui in order to present the Passion to his newly Christianized countrymen as a story from their native tradition". [15] These ideas are no longer accepted by scholars. Sylliċ wæs se siġebēam     ond iċ synnum fāh, forwunded mid wommum. It was as though I saw a wondrous tree 5 Towering in the sky suffused with light, Brightest of beams; and all that beacon was Covered with gold. The Son was victory-fast upon his journey, Like much of the surviving Old English poetry, no one knows who actually wrote "The Dream of the Rood.". The vision ends, and the man is left with his thoughts. I saw then the Lord of Mankind Eall iċ wæs mid sorgum ġedrēfed; forht iċ wæs for þǣre fæġran ġesyhðe. While in many works these Germanic and Christian elements are shown as diametrically opposed in philosophy, they are actually reconciled rather nicely within "The Dream of the Rood." Þūhte mē þæt iċ ġesāwe     syllicre trēow5 on lyft lǣdan,     lēohte bewunden, bēama beorhtost. [10] At each side of the vine-tracery are carved runes. As Michael Alexander points out, it’s a fine tribute to the unity of Christendom that these three very different artefacts, each of which contains lines from this iconic early English poem, should all be housed in different countries, none of which is England itself. Is nū sǣl cumen þæt mē weorðiað     wīde ond sīde menn ofer moldan     ond eall þēos mǣre ġesceaft, ġebiddaþ him tō þyssum bēacne. I quaked when the warrior embraced me— [31] This image of Christ as a 'heroic lord' or a 'heroic warrior' is seen frequently in Anglo-Saxon (and Germanic) literature and follows in line with the theme of understanding Christianity through pre-Christian Germanic tradition. I was hewn down at the holt’s end Hwæðere þǣr fūse     feorran cwōman tō þām æðelinge;     iċ þæt eall behēold. In this way, "the poem resolves not only the pagan-Christian tensions within Anglo-Saxon culture but also current doctrinal discussions concerning the nature of Christ, who was both God and man, both human and divine".[32]. Yet another excellent article on an old poem. [33] This puts a whole new light on the actions of Jesus during the Crucifixion. The Ruthwell Cross, near Dumfries, Scotland, is decorated with carved runes depicting aspects of the Rood's speech to the dreamer. [34] Instead of accepting crucifixion, he 'embraces' the Cross and takes on all the sins of mankind. tremor—I could have felled all those foemen, It was found in a manuscript in Northern Italy with a number of other Old English poems, although some of the passages are also found inscribed on a stone cross in Scotland which dates back to the eighth century. 2nd ed. now tower under the heavens, able to heal powerful and able, when he came with his multitudes, It’s not a long poem, so a summary is easy enough to offer: the poet dreams one midnight that the Cross on which Jesus was crucified appears and speaks to him. with a meager host. He will ask before the multitude where that man may be, beheld sorrow-chary the tree of the Savior It will be obvious that I have relied heavily on Swanton’s edition in my notes (click on the hyperlinked superscripts in the text to go to the notes). The Crucifixion story is told from the perspective of the Cross. before in heaven, when their Sovereign came back, Therefore I triumphant The Vercelli Book, which can be dated to the 10th century, includes twenty-three homilies interspersed with six religious poems: The Dream of the Rood, Andreas, The Fates of the Apostles, Soul and Body, Elene and a poetic, homiletic fragment. Therefore, I looked it up online and found this site. Bruce Mitchell notes that The Dream of the Rood is "the central literary document for understanding [the] resolution of competing cultures which was the presiding concern of the Christian Anglo-Saxons". Nevertheless, allies, thanes of the Lord, found me there On mē bearn Godes þrōwode hwīle;     for þan iċ þrymfæst nū85 hlīfiġe under heofenum,     ond iċ hǣlan mæġ ǣġhwylċne ānra     þāra þe him bið eġesa tō mē. before that word that the Wielder will speak. "[35], Faith Patten identified 'sexual imagery' in the poem between the Cross and the Christ figure, noting in particular lines 39–42, when Christ embraces the Cross after having 'unclothed himself' and leapt onto it. and every part of this widely famous creation. In a series of papers, Leonard Neidorf has adduced metrical, lexical, and syntactical evidence in support of a theory of composite authorship for The Dream of the Rood. The Dream of the Rood Translation by Richard Hamer (1970) 1 Hear while I tell about the best of dreams Which came to me the middle of one night While humankind were sleeping in their beds. and seat me where I will be allowed afterwards The popular appeal was obviously successful, as Heroism gradually declined to a relic of a past age, preserved in a few notable texts like Beowulf, while Christianity not only flourished in the wake, but spread to most of the Western World. to stand, dripping with blood—I was entirely wounded with arrows. Sī mē Dryhten frēond,145 se ðe hēr on eorþan     ǣr þrōwode on þām ġealgtrēowe     for guman synnum. I witnessed it all. They shamed us both together. The Dream of the Rood survives in the Vercelli Book, so called because the manuscript is now in the Italian city of Vercelli. Work of the period is notable for its synthetic employment of 'Pagan' and 'Christian' imagery as can be seen on the Franks Casket or the Kirkby Stephen cross shaft which appears to conflate the image of Christ crucified with that of Woden/Odin bound upon the Tree of Life. Onġyrede hine þā ġeong hæleð     – þæt wæs God ælmihtiġ,40 strang ond stīðmōd. If the Dream of the Rood does not say what kind explicitly, I’m going to more or less assume we don’t know, nor was it important to interpreting that particular poem. to earthly regions, but I had to stand there firm. Preserved in the 10th-century Vercelli Book, the poem may be as old as the 8th-century Ruthwell Cross, and is considered one of the oldest works of Old English literature. This copy is found in the Vercelli manuscript, housed in Italy and one of just four sources we have for Anglo-Saxon poetry (the others are the Cotton manuscript, our sole source for the long heroic narrative poem Beowulf; a collection of manuscripts of the Bodleian Library at Oxford; and the Exeter Book). Ġeseah iċ wuldres trēow15 wǣdum ġeweorðode,     wynnum scīnan, ġeġyred mid golde;     ġimmas hæfdon bewriġene weorðlīċe     Wealdendes trēow. Praise the Lord! Adelhied L. J. Thieme remarks, "The cross itself is portrayed as his lord's retainer whose most outstanding characteristic is that of unwavering loyalty". Nineteenth-century scholars tried to attribute the poem to the few named Old English poets. Within the poem, Hinton reads the dream as a confession of sorts, ending with the narrator invigorated, his "spirit longing to start. Your email address will not be published. for that moment when the Rood of the Lord, Is mē nū līfes hyht þæt iċ þone siġebēam     sēċan mōte āna oftor     þonne ealle men, well weorþian. Eall iċ wæs mid strǣlum forwundod. Those warriors bore me on their shoulders The corpse cooled, the fair hall of the spirit. The Cross recounts its own suffering alongside that of Jesus Christ, and how Jesus’ body was taken down after his death and the Cross was then salvaged by Jesus’ followers and covered with the gems it now bears. The Hero is now fighting on behalf of the sinners, rather than the landowner. Rōd wæs iċ ārǣred. The Dream of the Rood translated by Charles W. Kennedy In parentheses Publications Old English Series Cambridge, Ontario 2000. “Honor” is what everybody else says. (13-23), Yet I, lying there for a long while, The poem takes the form of a dream, which the narrator, an unnamed man, relates to the reader. miserable in the eventide, after they wished to venture forth, "The Dream of the Rood" can be viewed as an attempt to inject the "pop culture" of the time into a religious message, implying that there is not mutual exclusion of the two philosophies but rather that there is a way for each to compliment the other. The desire to do so �P�,��;|�Z���'�+[Y��� s���652��vnކ��ZU�Y]�p�G��%� endstream endobj 26 0 obj 64 endobj 18 0 obj << /Type /Page /Parent 13 0 R /Resources 19 0 R /Contents 23 0 R /MediaBox [ 0 0 612 792 ] /CropBox [ 0 0 612 792 ] /Rotate 0 >> endobj 19 0 obj << /ProcSet [ /PDF /Text ] /Font << /F1 22 0 R >> /ExtGState << /GS1 24 0 R >> >> endobj 20 0 obj << /Type /FontDescriptor /Ascent 720 /CapHeight 720 /Descent -241 /Flags 6 /FontBBox [ -136 -282 1060 960 ] /FontName /INNHHJ+BookAntiqua /ItalicAngle 0 /StemV 0 /XHeight 480 /FontFile2 21 0 R >> endobj 21 0 obj << /Length 26105 /Length1 26104 >> stream I mean, I think I can see what you’re doing generally, with some of the nice effects of various archaisms and odd-sounding compounds and things, and it does have an Old English flavour. The word beacon in contemporary use means a signal fire or mounted light for guidance, a source of inspiration, or simply a light. While the concept of heroism is still exists, it has simply been transmuted into a more religiously acceptable form-- the heroism that occurs with the adherence to religious doctrine, and a reward system has been set into place that guarantees feasting, glory and joy in Heaven, rather than treasure, seledream, comitatus, or war spoils on Earth, the message appears to be that the just desserts will still be provided, but one must simply wait a little longer for them.


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