‘Until a Hundred Generations of People Have Departed’, E. Saxey

Illustrations © 2021 Cécile Matthey

 [ Sandia tablet #1 in situ, ©2021 Cécile Matthey ] Old English

Hwaet! Þēos moldstōw is ǣrende
innan mynegunga webbgeweorce.
Wē besendon þis wærword,
bealospell nīedmicel.
Wē beþōhton ūre þēode
þrȳþswīþe, unlȳtle eormenstrȳnde.

Hēr nis nān ellendǣd gemyndgod,
ne ealdgestrēon bedolfen
ne foresetl, ne frēolsstōw.
Wē forhtedon ond hatodon hwæt is hēr.

Þis bealospell warnaþ
þaet wælfȳr wiext
tō middewearde;
hēr rihtlīce is sēo ælemidde.
Wē hit hrusan heolstre bewrigon.
Hit hæfþ hēanesse ond langnesse.

Hēr wunað giet se wælcræft
nū swā swā on ūrum dagum.
Sēo frecennes frēcnaþ bānhūs
ond fordōn mǣg.
Sē bealo glēwþ,
brǣdeþ tō ūtwearde.
Gif gē delfen ond drefen
dryhtenbealu gē onbinden.

Forbūgaþ þās moldstōwe
ond manlēase þā gerȳmaþ

 [ Sandia tablet #2 secondary deposit, ©2021 Cécile Matthey ]

 [ Sandia tablet #3 draftsperson’s sketch, ©2021 Cécile Matthey ] Translation

Listen! This sepulchre is a message
Within a web of warnings.
We sent this warning,
A baleful, urgent message.
We thought our people
Exceedingly powerful, a great generation.

Here is no honourable deed commemorated,
Nor ancient treasure buried
Nor high seat of honor nor festival ground.
We feared and hated what is here.

This dire message warns
That deathly fire grows greater
Towards the middle;
Right here is the center.
We hid it in the darkness of the earth.
It has height and length.

The deadly power still dwells here
Now, just as in our time.
The danger threatens the body
And may kill
The malice glows,
Broadening outwards.
If you dig and disturb
You will unbind great misery.

Shun this tomb
And leave it uninhabited.

 [ Sandia tablet #4 display, ©2021 Cécile Matthey ]

© 2021 E. Saxey

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