Friday, September 14, 2007

Translation attempt

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89). Poems. 1918.

The Windhover

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
..dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon,
in his riding
..Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
.. As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend:
the hurl and gliding
.. Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
.. Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

.. No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
.. Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

Translation attempt Betsy McKenzie 9/14/07


TRANSFIXED, at dawn by dawn’s own servant, prince-
.. dom of sunshine’s son-heir, sun-spattered Tiercel,
at his gliding
.. Over lumpsome highway, roadway made of air holding him,
and flying
Sky high; saw him spin along the axis of a folding pinion
In his rapture! then out, out, away he swoopt,
.. Like a skier slipping moguls, slalom:
the speed and swooping
.. Scorned to fear the gale. My soul, fast asleep,
Leaped for that life – the fulfill of, the lordship of the act!

Courage and grace and deed, oh, bend, break, bow you
.. Proud neck! AND you will shine brighter then, flame forth
More risky and full of grace, O Lord of my heart!

.. Of course its true: dull toil daily polishes the tools
In hand, and sad gray coals, as they fall,
.. Break open and show glowing hearts.

Note: I cannot find a way to get Blogger to allow spaces at the heginning of a line. So, with apologies to Fr. Hopkins, I have added periods to force the lines in as they should display.


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