Tolkien: Song of the Mounds of Mundburg (From Modern English)

The Song of the Mounds of Mundburg which occurs in chapter V of Tolkien's Return of the King is written in Old English alliterative meter, and is reminiscent of Germanic hero-poetry. So just for fun, I decided to translate this poem into actual Old English, since that language very clearly acts as the language of the Rohirrim in the Tolkien universe. So, here's Mundbyrgleoð, my Old English verse-translation of the poem, followed by Tolkien's modern English original.

Mundbyrgleoð (sēo āwendung)
J.R.R. Tolkien

Hȳrdon wē hringende      hornas on beorgum

Sweorda scīman      on sūðerīce.

Stīðiernende stēdas      tō Stānlonde ēodon

Swā morgennes wind.      Wīg wæs geblāwen.

Þǣr fēoll Þēoden,      Þengling stranlīc,
tō goldselum sīn      and grēnum lǣsum

nīþheard on Norðfeldum      nǣfre gecierrend,
heapes heahfrēa.      Harding and Guþlaf,

Dunhere and Deorwine,      dyrstig Grimbold,
Herefara and Herubrand,      Horn and Fastred,

þǣr and fēollon,      on fēorwege:

Þǣr under moldan      līgaþ in Mundbyrg
mid gædelingum sīn,      Gondores hlafordum.

Ne Hirlyn hlēotorht     to hlincum be flōte
ne Forlong fyrnmann      to flōriscum dēnum

ǣfre ne to Arnache,      to earde sīnum,

gecierdon     ne scēotendas lange,

Derufin and Dylin,     tō dēorcum lagwum,

Tō Morþondes morum     under muntsceadwum.
Deaþ on dagunge      and dæges wānunge
nām hlaford and swān.     Swefaþ nu lange

under Gondores
gærsum     be ginnstrēame.

Nū gragu swā tēaras,     glīsiendu seolforlice,
þā ræsde hēo rēadu,     rariendu wæter:
Wæs blōdgedeagod brimfām     brandhat in westlēohte;

Beacenlice beorgas     burnon on æfenne;

Read fēoll se deaw     on Rammas Echor.

þæt frumgewrit (the original):

Song of the Mounds of Mundburg

We heard of the horns in the hills ringing,
the swords shining in the South-Kingdom.
Steeds went striding to the Stoningland
as wind in the morning. War was kindled.
There Théoden fell, Thengling mighty,
to his golden halls and green pastures
in the Northern fields never returning,
high lord of the host. Harding and Guthlàf,
Dúnhere and Déorwine, doughty Grimbold,
Herefara and Herubrand, Horn and Fastred,
fought and fell there in a far country:
in the Mounds of Mundburg under mould they lie
with their league-fellows, lords of Gondor.
Neither Hirluin the Fair to the hills by the sea,
nor Forlong the old to the flowering vales
ever, to Arnach, to his own country
returned in triumph; nor the tall bowmen,
Derufin and Duilin, to their dark waters,
meres of Morthond under mountain-shadows.
Death in the morning and at day’s ending
lords took and lowly. Long now they sleep
under grass in Gondor by the Great River.
Grey now as tears, gleaming silver,
red then it rolled, roaring water:
foam dyed with blood flamed at sunset;
as beacons mountains burned at evening;
red fell the dew in Rammas Echor.

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