Hear me! We've heard of ancient Europe,
Heard enough to be redressing ideas as it fits us,
But, by ring, it is unfair towards people of ancient years,
That we judge their deeds and failures, without seeing ashes of their fires.
For a tragedy is a one but last chapter in the book by attentive historian,
Who leaves his wards in the moment at which their city’s towers
Will be knocked down and reader won’t want to know how their throats were cut open.
Beowulf’s shadow and it’s glorious surrounding have become a usual victims,
Of opinions of those people, who saw swords in museums only,
Who can not pronounce correctly
The last names of Hrothgar and Healfdane,
Even if those valiant fighters resurrect and give treasures of Herot
For correct pronunciation.
People who have written responses
To the classical anthology of Norton, sixth edition
Know a lot about modern realism and rights of the minorities,
But will not tell any difference between the chain mail and hauberk,
And all they have carried out of the clear,
Poems of the ancient Logris
(All – besides corrupt translation)
Was – the story was about Beowulf, extremely proud,
That the story was about things it's authors didn't imagine –
Like the fair rights of women or ethnicity concerns.
By the way, the only way to
Study books of ancient darkness
Is to read kennings to night moon in mountains, to talk to star as you would to your girlfriend,
Drink a bottle of ale – do something,
Whatever suits you – to forget about modern ideas,
That played less role in lives of minstrels
Than a flee on Halga's mare mattered to the kings of Denmark.
O, remember, skillful reader,
Not to be separated from wisdom,
You should know that ancient writers
From Elder Edda till the story of the battle of Cormallena
Were not telling their audience
About roles of ethnicity and gender,
(Unless limited to simple interracial massacre)
About views of other authors,
(Unless limited to tribute paid to half-mythical teacher)
About challenging assumptions,
(Unless limited to challenging the idea that the Danes
Are the toughest guys forever by a little local conflict –
Kidnapping several Danish women after burning their city)
AOI, as would the author of “Song of Roland” say…
AOI, indeed! Now let us open eyes to see ancient Denmark,
Follow the traces of ancient idols,
Cold stone gods along the roads,
Golden wheat fields around the villages,
Surrounded by foggy marshes,
Where the traces of skillful giants, race of glittering sons of Lylith
Mix with footprints of Cain’s heirs, new nightmares of faith of Book.
Where knights in shining armor are patrolling lonely seashores
To protect hard-working peasants from the Sax pirates who know no Lord.
Every minstrel is blessed by Creator and cursed by deities of Dark Kingdom
To witness life full of fame in ballads, to go down roads of mighty,
To be admitted both to secret meetings, to remember brotherhood vows
And to monster’s guided lairs, to call out Grendel’s name and count dragon’s teeth.
But to sing in hall of Harot and to die together with servants
Is the only fame of minstrel – and his name is never mentioned.
Counting drops of blood and tears, observing war as people observe weather,
That is the only freedom of poet, besides that money do not buy him.
I envy you, unknown master, I leave for you to envy your words
That have been carried through ages, to bring us tale of mighty Geat,
Together with impassive story of a poor killer of his brothers, who was exiled but was forgiven,
Together with words of ceremonies of wine-drinking at the court of Danish kings.
To the minstrel of that times, world was a mosaic window,
Like the one Archbishop of Denmark ordered from the Town of Kings…
Made long ago by wise artist, who dissolved flowers in blessed oil
To obtain clear colors – blue of heavens and golden of mountains.
One of bad omens! The mosaic was broken, as was our world in the times of giants,
With the same sad note of breaking glass doors of Eden were closed.
Logical thinking is an achievement that can be counted as one of the recent,
The idea of right action in the medieval code of honor
Is placing a piece of jigsaw puzzle on its correct place,
Just a feeling, not analysis,
In the most ancient stories of Northern Seas people ask very few questions
About the nature of the universe, about the ways of good and evil,
Everyone of them seemed to have a roads of his own,
A distinct path, visible by him only, no place for doubts,
This kind of ignorance brought much grief and warfare,
Nobody was living to please historian of minstrel.
I do not envy you, unknown master, I leave it for you not to envy your words,
For your sadness was not carried through ages,
Your hidden words about how incorrect human’s self-assured ways are
Turned into the song of Beowulf, mighty Geat who could do more than usual fighter,
Not because he fought monsters and dragons –
But because he saw the correct ways and did not require support
In his quest towards fame.
How many of knights of your land could do the same?
How many tried? How many have succeeded?
Nobody will find ruins of their houses,
But that does not satisfy me, for neither will I ever see your gravestone,
O, wise minstrel.