From Frank Herbert's Dune: The Litany Against Fear (Translated into Old English and Old Norse)

Why did I end up doing this? It's a long story, involving a tattoo and a friend meeting someone in a bar. But half of the answer is "because it's fucking fun".

Both of these translations are in verse. The Old English is rendered into the usual verse-line you'd expect. The Old Norse is rendered into lines of Málaháttr. (I originally wanted to do it into a Skaldic meter, but then I realized what a mess I was getting into.) For some reason, it felt less jarring to render this into Old Norse than Old English. And not just because I couldn't find any way not to alliterate on the same morpheme in the first line. The mood of lines like this seems like it has more precedent to build on in Norse.

For the Old English, the scansion relies on an archaic metrical value of symbel as if it were *syml without vocalic parasiting.

"I shall not fear. Fear is the mind-killer...."

Old English

Iċ ne forhtiġe wiht.
 Fyrhtu biþ mōdbana.
Fyrhtu biþ smældēaþ
 þe mē on symbel dīedeþ
Swelte iċ unforht
 āne sīðe

Old Norse

Ekki mun ek óttask.
 Ótti er móðbani.
Ótti er smádauðinn
 er optliga deyðir.
Óttalauss dey ek
 einu sinni.

In Anglo-Saxon Runes

In Medieval Norse Runes

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