#WhanThatAprille16: Riddle 20

Jumping into spring: it’s the time when folk long to go on pilgrimages and in addition to seeking the blissful holy martyr, medievalists like to share their love of language with the world. Thanks to Chaucer Doth Tweet, the event this year is called #WhanThatAprille16 so check out the hashtag for more audio delights.

Here’s the original and then the modern translation of Riddle 20 from the Exeter Book (Krapp&Dobie 9): can you guess what it is?

Mec on þissum dagū     deadne ofgeafum
fæder modor     ne wæs me feorh þa gen
ealdor in innan     þa mec ongon
welhold me     gewedum weccan
heold freoþode     hleosceorpe wrah
snearlice     swa hire agen bearn
oþþæt ic under sceate ·     swa min gesceapu wæron
ungesibbum wearð     eacen gæste
mec seo friþemæg     fedde siþþan
oþþæt ic aweox     widdor meahte
siþas asettan     heo hæfde swæsra þy læs
suna dohtra     þy heo swa dyde
 In those first days     my father and mother

left me for dead:     there was no life yet,
no life within me.     Then a kindly kinswoman
faithfully covered me     with her own clothing,
held me and cherished,     kept me warmly,
even as gently     as her own children—
until beneath her,     as my destiny willed,
I waxed into life     with my alien fellows.
My friend and protector     nourished me then
till I grew and grew able     to go forth by myself.
Because of this now     her own dear children,
sons and daughters,     were fewer, alas.

City Pirates

Last week Bertie and I headed down to the city to see The Pirates of Penzance at City Center. He had meetings so we really just ran down for dinner and the show, but the nice thing is you can do that from here. As always, click the pictures to embiggen.

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Ah, Poughkeepsie; not a bit like Popeye Doyle said.

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Shhh, don’t tell Bertie I took a picture of him.

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Swiss chocolates in Grand Central – free samples!

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The city is full of fairies #fact.

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Huge billboards for Crimson Peak.

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Celtic Pub for Mark 🙂

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At Ruby Foo’s: the waiter looked only at Bertie, I thought perhaps I’d become invisible again.

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I haven’t heard much about it, but it’s Pan so I’ll doubtless see it.

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There he is.

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We wandered around between dinner and the show; over near Columbus Circle the sky just looked velvety.

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Chihuly-spawned jellyfish.

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The octopus was particularly delightful.

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Old NY is still there.

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Sometimes it’s all a bit hazy around City Center.

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Semi-staged with choir. Terrific cast! Phillip Boykin played the Pirate King with great verve, Deborah Voigt absolutely winning, Julia Undine wowed as Mabel (what a voice!), Hunter Parrish sings quite well and made Frederic charming, and Douglas Hodge! I associate him with such serious roles but he was hilarious as the Major General.

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Monty Python played here. I could feel the vibrations of laughter still there.

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My crap phone takes odd pictures. Sometimes in a good way.

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Yes, we were in the front row. The percussionist was not credited in the program and yet he clowned delightfully with Frederic. Percussionists rule!

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October roses and yet it snowed the other day. Take the magic where you can find it.