Another Couple of Translations
Posted: 14 March 2007 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Working on the entry for seed.

This one is from the Vespasian Psalter, my attempt at translating the Old English is in parentheses. My chief problem is “Gongende,” which I’m assuming is a proper name, but could be very, very wrong.

Gongende eodon & weopun sendende sed. (Gongende went & wept sowing the seed.)

The second is from a Middle English translation of Palladius on Husbondrie:

The spaces that in heruest sowe or sede Me wol, may best ha now their pastynynge. (The spaces that in autumn one would sow or seed, are best now for plowing.)

I’m confident of the first clause, but the a bit unsure of the tense and subject of the second.

Any help?

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Posted: 14 March 2007 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Though I could be wrong, I believe gongende would be “going”.  I doubt it’s a name.

Don’t have time to puzzle over these today, sorry.  Almost certainly there are people better qualified here, anyway.

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Posted: 14 March 2007 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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OCD got the better of me.  “may best have now their pastining [cultivation]”.  See the verb “pastine” in your OED.

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Posted: 14 March 2007 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Gongende eodon & weopun sendende sed.

Apparently it’s a passage from Psalms 125 (as Roman Catholics number them). The Psalter consisted mostly of an interlineal translation of the Psalms from Latin into Old English, I gather.

The Douay Bible renders it as: Going they went and wept, casting their seeds. But coming they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their sheaves.

Most Protestant translations have somewhat different wording (and number the psalm as 126):

KJV:  They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

NIV: Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy,carrying sheaves with him.

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Posted: 14 March 2007 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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For the second quote… I’m not at all good at this, but doesn’t Me sometimes mean negation - “but” or “not”?  Isn’t sow and seed the opposite of what you do “in harvest”?

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Posted: 14 March 2007 05:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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IIRC, rye and barley are usually sown in the fall; they are “winter” grains.  (There are summer varieties, but I think the original varieties overwintered.)

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Posted: 14 March 2007 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks. Identifying the Biblical passage is key. “Carrying” rather than “sowing” is actually a better translation of the word, but it didn’t make much sense to me. “Carrying seed to sow” is clearly better.

Regarding “harvest,” the use of this noun to mean what has been gathered in actually appears later, 16th century. In this period the word meant autumn. And there are crops that are planted in the fall, so there is nothing inherently wrong with the concept. (I don’t know the wider context of the passage, though.)

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Posted: 14 March 2007 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Regarding the “me” Myridon refers to, the OED2 describes it as “a particle (exclamatory or adversative) employed (mainly in texts of the ‘Katherine group’) to introduce a question, or (less commonly) a statement.”

The Katherine group is apparently a rather small set of hagiographies to which Palladius would not seem to belong, and the position in the sentence doesn’t fit the usage described.  I think you’re correct in translating it as the impersonal pronoun.

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