Over on the All Things Linguistic blog, an Old English rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is perhaps one of the greatest discoveries of this holiday season. Check out the gorgeous meter below!
Here is it, written by Philip Craig Chapman-Bell:
Incipit gestis Rudolphi rangifer tarandus
Hwæt, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor –
Næfde þæt nieten unsciende næsðyrlas!
Glitenode and gladode godlice nosgrisele.
Ða hofberendas mid huscwordum hine gehefigodon;
Nolden þa geneatas Hrodulf næftig
To gomene hraniscum geador ætsomne.
Þa in Cristesmæsseæfne stormigum clommum,
Halga Claus þæt gemunde to him maðelode:
“Neahfreond nihteage nosubeorhtende!
Min hroden hrædwæn gelæd ðu, Hrodulf!”
Ða gelufodon hira laddeor þa lyftflogan –
Wæs glædnes and gliwdream; hornede sum gegieddode
“Hwæt, Hrodulf readnosa hrandeor,
Brad springð þin blæd: breme eart þu!
Not gonna lie, this warms my erstwhile Medieval-Lit-studying heart. Gotta love a properly placed Hwæt!
And to make it even better (or help you out if pronouncing Old English isn’t really your thing), here is the modern English version:
Here begins the deeds of Rudolph, Tundra-Wanderer
Lo, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer –
That beast didn’t have unshiny nostrils!
The goodly nose-cartilage glittered and glowed.
The hoof-bearers taunted him with proud words;
The comrades wouldn’t allow wretched Hrodulf
To join the reindeer games.
Then, on Christmas Eve bound in storms
Santa Claus remembered that, spoke formally to him:
“Dear night-sighted friend, nose-bright one!
You, Hrodulf, shall lead my adorned rapid-wagon!”
Then the sky-flyers praised their lead-deer –
There was gladness and music; one of the horned ones sang
“Lo, Hrodulf the red-nosed reindeer,
Your fame spreads broadly, you are renowned!”
*wipes tears from eyes* Yeah, that’s gonna become a holiday tradition at my house every year. Someone break out a lyre and let’s sing songs to Hrodulf, tundra-wanderer.