Friday, 7 August 2015

The Maren Ramskeid version of 'Draumkvedet' in English

The Ballad of the Dream

Olaf he was a fine young man
like a sallow bush the same
Father and mother they wished him well
from the time that he spoke their name.
– And it was Olaf Aaknesonen who slept a sleep so long –

Olaf he was a fine young man
like a sallow twig the same
Father and mother they wished him well
from the time to this earth he came.
– It was etc.

He laid him down a Christmas Eve
and soon fell fast asleep,
he did not wake till past Twelfth Night
when folk their church shall keep,

He did not wake till past Twelfth Night
when sun’s dawn rays did gleam
today I will be off to church
I wish to tell my dream.

He did not wake till past Twelfth Night
when sun’s rays ended his dream
then did he saddle his fine steed
its harness like gold did gleam

Now at the altar you do stand
and reel prayers off by the ream
I in porch outside will stand
where I will tell my dream.

First on my journey I set out
o’er a plain of sand and thorns,
my scarlet cloak was sorely rent
from each finger the nail was torn.
– For the moon shines bright and the roads are endless wide –

Then on my journey I set out
through the narrow ring of thorns
my scarlet cloak was sorely rent
from each toe the nail was torn.
– For the moon shines etc.

Then I arrived at Gjallar bridge
a bad place to go o’er
The hounds they bite the snakes they sting
and the bulls stand ready to gore.

There did I see two snakes that fought
that struck at each other’s head
and there were siblings in that place
that wanted each other to wed.

Waded have I through miry bogs
where a foot can never touch ground
Crossed over Gjallar bridge have I
with grave-earth in my mouth.

Blessed are those who here on earth
the poor man gave some shoes
He need not walk o’er the thorny heath
barefoot should he not choose.

And blessed are those who here on earth
the poor man gave some rye
he need not take a dizzy walk
on Gjeddar bridge so high.

And blessed are those who here on earth
the poor man gave some corn
he need not fear on Gjeddar bridge
the fierce bull’s sharp-tipped horn.

And blessed are those who here on earth
the poor man gave some bread
he need not in the other realm
of any harm be in dread.

And blessed are those who here on earth
the poor man clothes did give
he need not fear in the other realm
with hatred or mocking to live.

Then I set out in wintertime
where the ice was glittering blue
but God put it clearly in my mind
so from there I fast withdrew.

Then did I see in wintertime
all on my right hand
I caught a glimpse of paradise
that gleamed like a distant land.

Then did I glimpse paradise
it could not have gone better for me
there with red gold on her hands
my godmother I did see.

There did I see my godmother
it could not have been better for me
now set you out to Broksvalin
for there Judgment Day shall be.
– The moon shines bright and the roads are endless wide –

Then it was I met the man
his cloak was blue to see
a child he bore upon his arm
and sank down to his knee.
– In Broksvalin for there Judgment Day shall be –

There it was I met a man
his cloak it was of lead
his sorry soul upon this earth
was miserly indeed.
– In Broksvalin etc.

A mighty host came from the north
and now I feared the worst
With Grizzly Greybeard at its head
upon a jet-black horse.

A mighty host came from the south,
and now I hoped the best
Archangel Michael at its head
closest to Jesus Christ.

A mighty host came from the south
and slowly it did ride
Archangel Michael at its head
his horn was by his side.

Archangel Michael took his horn
and blew it loud and clear
And now for every living soul
does Judgment Day draw near.

But then each sinful mortal shook
like aspen leaves in the wind
and each and every soul alive
shed tears for every sin.

Archangel Michael took the scales
and all did pay in kind,
all sinful souls that he there weighed
were to Jesus Christ consigned.

Then did I wake up when past Twelfth Night
after the midnight chime
may God preserve both one and all
who are out at such a time.
– It was Olaf Aakneson who slept a sleep so long

I first wake up at past Twelfth Night
have slept so long it seems
it is temptation to every soul
to fall into such dreams.
– And it was etc.

1 comment:

David C Brown said...

The same spirit as the border ballads.