Sunday, April 12, 2009

On the Resurrection of Christ

Alleluia!  Christ is risen!  Glorify Him!

From the late mediæval Scottish poet William Dunbar (reading aloud may help to puzzle out the words so spelled):
Done is a battell on the dragon blak,
Our campioun Chryst confountet hes his force;
The yettis* of hell ar brokin with a crak,
The signe triumphall rasit is of the croce,
The divillis trymmillis† with hiddous voce,
The saulis ar borrowit and to the blis can go,
Chryst with his blud our ransonis dois indoce‡:
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro.

[*gates; †tremble; ‡doth endorse]

Dungin* is the deidly dragon Lucifer,
The crewall serpent with the mortall stang;
The auld kene tegir with his teith on char†,
Quhilk in a wait‡ hes lyne for us so lang,
Thinking to grip us in his clows strang;
The mercifull Lord wald nocht that it wer so,
He maid him for to felye of that fang§:
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro.

[*Beaten; †ajar; ‡Which in wait; §prize]

He for our saik that sufferit to be slane,
And lyk a lamb in sacrifice wes dight*,
Is lyk a lyone rissin up agane,
And as gyane raxit† him on hicht;
Sprungin is Aurora radius and bricht,
On loft‡ is gone the glorius Appollo,
The blisfull day depairtit fro the nycht:
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro.

[*treated; †stretched; ‡Aloft]

The grit victour agane is rissin on hicht,
That for our querrell to the deth wes woundit;
The sone that wox all paill now schynis bricht,
And dirknes clerit, our fayth is now refoundit;
The knell of mercy fra the hevin is soundit,
The Cristin ar deliverit of thair wo,
The Jowis and thair errour ar confoundit:
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro.

The fo is chaisit, the battell is done ceis,
The presone brokin, the jevellouris fleit and flemit*;
The weir is gon, confermit is the peis,
The fetteris lowsit and the dungeoun temit†,
The ransoun maid, the presoneris redemit;
The feild is win, ourcumin is the fo,
Dispulit of the tresur that he yemit‡:
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro.

[*fled and banished; †emptied; ‡kept]
[For any who wish, I will supply a modernized version...]

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