Sunday 24 April 2011

The sun that waxed all pale now shines bright

Happy Easter! Here's a hymn of the Resurrection by William Dunbar, a wonderful Scottish poet who died c.1520. The language of this fantastic poem is much more easily comprehensible than the spelling makes it look - just read it aloud!

Done is a battell on the dragon blak;
Our campioun Chryst coufoundit 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 bliss can go,
Chryst with his blud our ransonis dois indoce:
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro!

Dungin is the deidly dragon Lucifer,
The crewall serpent with the mortall stang,
The auld keen tegir with his teith on char
Quhilk in a wait hes lyne for us so lang
Thinking to grip us in his clowis strang:
The merciful lord wald nocht that it wer so;
He maid him for to felye of that fang:
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro!

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

The grit victour agane is rissin on hicht
That for our querrell to the deth was 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 their wo,
The Jowis and thair errour ar confoundit:
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro!

The fo is chasit, 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!

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