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Author Topic: Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, in Old English  (Read 105 times)

Offline gash

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Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, in Old English
« on: December 20, 2016, 02:34:15 PM »
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Seeing as it's that time of year: Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, in Old English



Over on the All Things Linguistic blog, an Old English rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is perhaps one of the greatest discoveries of this holiday season. Check out the gorgeous meter below!



Here is it, written by Philip Craig Chapman-Bell:


Incipit gestis Rudolphi rangifer tarandus

Hwæt, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor –
Næfde þæt nieten unsciende næsðyrlas!
 Glitenode and gladode godlice nosgrisele.
 Ða hofberendas mid huscwordum hine gehefigodon;
 Nolden þa geneatas Hrodulf næftig
 To gomene hraniscum geador ætsomne.
 Þa in Cristesmæsseæfne stormigum clommum,
 Halga Claus þæt gemunde to him maðelode:
“Neahfreond nihteage nosubeorhtende!
 Min hroden hrædwæn gelæd ðu, Hrodulf!”
Ða gelufodon hira laddeor þa lyftflogan –
Wæs glædnes and gliwdream; hornede sum gegieddode
“Hwæt, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor,
 Brad springð þin blæd: breme eart þu!

Not gonna lie, this warms my erstwhile Medieval-Lit-studying heart. Gotta love a properly placed Hwæt!

And to make it even better (or help you out if pronouncing Old English isn’t really your thing), here is the modern English version:


Here begins the deeds of Rudolph, Tundra-Wanderer

Lo, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer –
That beast didn’t have unshiny nostrils!
 The goodly nose-cartilage glittered and glowed.
 The hoof-bearers taunted him with proud words;
 The comrades wouldn’t allow wretched Hrodulf
 To join the reindeer games.
 Then, on Christmas Eve bound in storms
 Santa Claus remembered that, spoke formally to him:
“Dear night-sighted friend, nose-bright one!
 You, Hrodulf, shall lead my adorned rapid-wagon!”
Then the sky-flyers praised their lead-deer –
There was gladness and music; one of the horned ones sang
“Lo, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer,
 Your fame spreads broadly, you are renowned!”

*wipes tears from eyes* Yeah, that’s gonna become a holiday tradition at my house every year. Someone break out a lyre and let’s sing songs to Hrodulf, tundra-wanderer.


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