dimanche, décembre 25, 2011

Ryddles for the Holidayes

As ye knowe, my grete freende the writere Virginia Wulfstan doth love tradiciounal literature, and she hath devoted herself to gatheringe bits of oold literature and publisshing them for the Hrothgar Press. And alwey she ys pilinge manuscriptes and oold bookes upon my doorstep. Al thogh she hath nat convynced me of the gretenesse of the alliterative long lyne, Virginia speketh trewe about the grete awesomeness of muchel of the earlye literature of thys countrye, althogh yt oft soundeth lyk unto a Klingon wyth a stomach compleynt.

Oon the best bookes that Virginia Wulfstan hath to me y-loaned ys ful of grete riddles. Thes are thinges of muchel pleasure, for ye the redere must guess the answere of the thinge. Ryddles are totallye a waye to passe the tyme at awkward familye dinneres, and thei maken me to thynke that the Anglo-Saxones must have had many awkwarde familye situacions to endure, what wyth the feudinge and all. And eek peraventure ryddles were a waye to breaken the ice whan meetinge othir riddle enthusiastes duringe holidaye travel.

For yower pleasure, Ich have found sum of the riddles yn the old booke of Exeter yiven me by Virginia Wulfstan, and Ich have translatid those concerninge thys festive seson of the holidayes. No answirs shal Ich pooste, for Ich wisshe nat to ruine yower fun.



Everye familye hath me yn a separate forme;
My bodye ys made of bacones companioun,
And sprinkled wyth spicerye that kan spinne straunge visions.
Were thou to looke on a liste of my partes
A cake thou might thynke me, or confeccioun swete,
Yet wyth the addicioun supplyed by adults
Ich kan crusshe down alle earth-dwellers as no cake evir koud,
Nor no bundt hath a byte as brutal as myne.
Ich am unholye unguent, uncles bane – what am Ich?


A man crepeth yn and taketh me from the crawelspace,
Thanne setteth me up yn ceremonye, yet no sylver doth he circle round me.
Ich heare many harde wordes, and watch manye wrestlinges.
Thogh neyther green nor graythed wyth golde, grand am Ich,
Talle do Ich stande, thogh no armes nor no legges Ich ne have:
Ich am for the rest of us: saye nowe my name.


At a tabel thei pulle at my heed and my feet.
Ich perisshe wyth a pop, yet presentes Ich bringe:
A crowne for the cruel oon who cleaved me in twayne.
Yet thogh crowned lyk kinge, he shal know muchel care:
For yn the scroll of my bodye are writ woful puns,
And thogh he looke longe, laughe shal he nevir.


An enemye murdered me, made me molten,
Shaped me in castes, cooled me and set me.
In me he set splendors manye, spelles to werke,
The newefangle conjurations that make nerdes rich
And paie for manye a prius yn the baye area.
He gave me a wyde face, on which ys writ
Alle that any crafty one mighte wisshe to knowe.
The shapes of my word-scars are made wythout winges --
No sky-fowles need feel death-sore to craft my chapters.
Ich shal leave no meal for the sound-moth,
No warm place for the page-worm,
For Ich am a cold castel, thogh called a fyre.
Ich am yiven as a gift this yeere, a default item
For relatives that seeme to have everythinge els.
Hippolytas daughtirs made me, hard ys my shell.


Yonge and oold wayte for me
For Ich come oonly on one daye.
Sum tyme Ich bringe regeneracioun,
And sum tyme Ich bringe tales of sharkes that flye.
Yet no sharke evir shal Ich jumpe,
For Ich am eterne.
Who, who, who, am Ich?


Ich am a human as thou art, thogh part somethynge els –
Yower shape Ich weare somewhat, yet straunge ye wolde fynde me.
In waste and fastness Ich lyve, and Ich wish warre upon yow.
No room yn my herte for the glee of the harpe,
And yower singinge doth spur me to hatred and plots.
Saye my name soothly, yt beginneth wyth G.


Ich broghte merciless shame upon a grete myth
Many yeeres bifor the poyson of prequels appeared.
Thos heroes ye love look hilarious within me,
And even a queen bea kan nat make me swete.
Yet ful often sum fannes fynde mirthe yn my madnesse,
Thogh Ich make them itchy and lumpy, thei love me yet.
And thei traded me yn tapes that thei took to convenciouns
Until the yeares of yetube whanne al kan see me with eye.
On thys daye of lyf, on thys special daye of sterres,
Telle me, force wyth yow, what ye thynke Ich am.


A fyre-brand Ich beare, on the boss of my brain-shield,
Before me a bright beacon to blynk in the nighte.
Yif ye gazed on my head-prow, that it glewen ye wolde sweare.
Thogh al my stable-feres did laugh me to scorne,
And lefte me no leave to laughen in their lapp-horses games,
Yet oon morninge whanne erthe-breathe stuck thike to the welkin,
The proud-furred man cleped me to the front of hys teame.
He needed my flame, the fierce shyne of my sneeze-door.
Ich did leade the warband that nighte. What ys my name?

A Holidaye Uppe-Date

My gentil rederes,

Long tyme hath it ben sithen Ich have upon my blog yposted. Ywis, many a thinge hath been afoot chez Chaucer. Yif ye wisshe for some japes and games for the holidayes, ye maye turne the leef and skippe to the next poost, but for newes of yower Chaucer, rede on.

O gentils, ye looke nowe upon the wordes of an EX-clerk of the kinges werkes. Ich have that office y-quit, the which Ich have held for quite a while nowe. By seynte Martin, that job demaundid the verye clothes off my back! Whanne Ich was not consumed wyth the bisynesse of construccion and logistiques, Ich was beinge robbed and audited. Oftymes Ich knewe nat whethir yt was a robberie or an audit, so litel ys the distinction bitwene the exchequer and a derke forest ful of brigandes.

But farewell clerkeshep! Ich have rendered my notyce of thirty dayes unto My Lord the Kyng, and am nowe a free man. The drainage of the area bitwene Greenwich and Woolwich kan take the hekke care of ytself, by Jesu, and eek kan the manye and varyed requestes that a clerke of the werkes doth receyve dailye from My Lord the Kynge, includinge the creacioun of the moost elaborate allegoricale model raylroade yn Europe (“The Greate Traine of Being”) and eek a crystal palace cunninglye devysed ynto which no rumors or newes concerninge Justin de Beibre kan evir passe. To the laste requeste, Ich threwe my handes ynto the aire and seyde that Ich ne was no Dedalus nor no Pythagoras, and yif the kyng wanted me to do the impossible he sholde sende me to wizard school.

Soon Ich shal looke for a newe job, but for the nones Ich am enjoyinge sum tyme to followe my hobbyes. Ich have taken up ayein my grete avocation – the subtil and excellent sporte of parkour. Yt ys a thinge of muchel blessedness to scalen the walles of breweryes or merchauntes houses and to leape and jumpe about lyk unto a very agile smal deere or verye powerful rabbit. Sum tyme my Lord the Kyng doth joyne me for my practise of parkour. We have grete pleasure yn clymbynge to the toppe of steeples or gret toweres whereupon eagles do perche, and we beholde the gret beautee of the contree al aboute us, and thanne oft we dyve down into a conveniently placed cart ful of hay. This oon tyme we ran ynto an Italien yclept Ezio in ower cart, that was from Florence, and he and Ich talkid a litel bit about ower favourite partes of the Purgatorio.

And what wyth al thys leapinge and jumpinge (the which hath in deed caused me to lose some weight, thogh Ich am stille far from the state of my youthe), Ich have had but litel tyme for to bloggen.

But alwey Ich do wake earlye in the morninges in thys festive sesoun, and thus Ich thoghte Ich wolde with yow gentils share sum mirthe for the holidayes. Ye maye fynde yt in the next poost.

Wyth al of my greete love and affecioun, and grete and good wisshes for yow and yoweres,

Le Vostre