Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Done is a battell on the dragon blak

Variations on William Dunbar, 3

The black dragon is beaten back
Confronted by our champion Christ
The gates of hell broke with a crack
The triumphal sign of the cross hoist
The devils yammer ugly voiced
But the souls have their papers and can go --
Signed with God's blood, they will suffice:
Surrexit dominus de sepulchro.

Battered is deadly Lucifer
His cruel serpent's stinger drawn
Fierce old tiger, teeth ajar
That has lain in wait for us so long
Thinking to grip us in strong claws --
The merciful Lord would not have it so,
And made us slip between his paws:
Surrexit dominus de sepulchro.

For our sake he let himself be slain
And trussed like a lamb for sacrifice;
Now, like a lion, he is up again
Stretched out to a giant's height --
Dawn sprung, radiant and bright,
Gone aloft is the glorious Apollo;
The blissful day is departed from night:
Surrexit dominus de sepulchro.

The victor has risen again up high
That in our quarrel to the death was wounded;
The sun that went pale now shines out bright
The darkness is cleared, our faith re-founded;
The knell of mercy from heaven is sounded,
The Christians are delivered from their woe,
The Jews and their errors are confounded:
Surrexit dominus de sepulchro.

The foe is fled, the battle can cease,
The prison is broken -- the jailors retreat;
The war is done, confirmed the peace.
The chains are loosed, the dungeon emptied;
The ransom made, the prisoners freed;
The field is won, overcome the foe,
Despoiled of what he thought to keep:
Surrexit dominus de sepulchro.

The original, John Conlee's edition:

Done is a battell on the dragon blak,
Our campioun Chryst confountit hes his force;
The gettis 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 blis 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 kene 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 lyk a lyone rissin up agane,
And as a gyane raxit Him on hicht;
Sprungin is Aurora, radius and bricht,
On loft is gone the glorius Appollo,
The blisfull day depairtit fro the nycht:
Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro.

The grit Victour agane is rissin on hicht
That for our querrell to the deth wes 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 thair 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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