Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Poetry Friday: Pre-Halloween Special

From Selections from the Carmina Burana: A New Verse Translation by David Parlett, 1986.

Carmina Burana 54, "Incantation"

Omne genus demoniorum,
cecorum, claudorum,
sive confusorum . . .

Every kind of demon being--
Come hobbling,
come squabbling,
sightless or unseeing --
mark well my words, my invocation,
my command, my incantation.

Creatures all of phantom company
who populate the principality
of that vile dragon creeping
with venom seeping --
whose high and mighty fundament
sweeps full one third the stars' extent --
Gordan, Ingordin, and Ingordan:
by the Seal of Solomon,
magi the Pharaohs call upon,
I now exorcise you
and substantialize you:
by sages three: Caspar,
Melchior and Balthazar:
by David's playing
for the allaying
of Saul's dismaying
and your gainsaying.

I adjure you
and conjure you
by the mandate of the Lord:
be unkind not,
hurt mankind not,
manifest misericord:
show but once your faces
and retract your traces
with forsaken races
to hell's hiding places.

I adjure
I conjure
by that awesome
by that fearsome
that gruesome Judgement Day,
when unending punishment
and horror and dismay
and unbounded banishment
shall drive demonkind
into damnation
but shrive humankind
unto salvation.

By that same unnamed, unsaid,
that unutterably dread
tetragrammaton of God:
fall to fear and trembling
as to disassembling
I now exorcise
spectres: demons: ghosts: hobgoblins:
satyrs: sirens: hamadryads:
nightmares: incubi and
shades of the departed --
flee to ruination,
chaos and damnation,
lest your foul conflation
rend Christ's congregation.

From all our enemies, good Lord, deliver us