Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Lord's Prayer in Old English

Fæder ūre, ðū ðē eart on heofonum,
Sī ðīn nama gehālgod.
Tō becume ðīn rice.
Gewurde ðīn willa
On eorþan swā swā on heofonum.
Urne gedægwhamlīcan hlāf syle ūs tōdæg.
And forgyf ūs ūre gyltas,
Swā swā wē forgyfaþ ūrum gyltendum.
And ne gelæd ðū ūs on costnunge, ac alȳs ūs of yfele.

What does it say to you, this recreated voice from our ancient past?

To me it says heritage is rather more than we'll ever find in a museum.


Sam Vega said...

Interesting, but a great pity about the reading. I can't believe people ever spoke like this before the days of Dungeons and Dragons.

Demetrius said...

Hwaet? With a male Y Chromosome which marks me out as Saxon in the male line it is always striking to hear the ancient tonque. Take off the bass resonance and the voice scans. Given from sound archives how voices have changed from even the recent past the voice pattern could be about right. We forget that voices then had to carry.

James Higham said...

Gyltas eh? wondered where we got the word guilt from.

A K Haart said...

SV - I prefer it to an academic's careful tones.

D - yes, voices have changed. A while ago I heard a fragment which was supposed to be Queen Victoria sounding nothing like our Queen's upper class intonation.

JH - gyltas m'lud.

Sackerson said...

I read some time back in The Oldie an account by a man who met Jorge Luis Borges when the latter was on a tour in London. Borges (now blind) asked his guide to lead him into the middle of, I think, St Paul's, and then recited aloud the Lord's Prayer in Anglo-Saxon.

A K Haart said...

S - I'd like to learn it simply to speak it out loud, if only to myself.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

In the context of our fights against the warmists and the EU, I find this fragment helpful whenever I remember that despair is a sin:

"Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað"

Sackerson said...

Here's a site to hear it:

A K Haart said...

WY and S - thanks, I think that's what blogging is about - never give in.