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A. Richard Diebold Center for Indo-European Language and Culture

Indo-European Texts

Old English

Douglas Simms and Jonathan Slocum

A Bee Charm

MS. 41 Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Text from Grendon, Felix. The Anglo-Saxon Charms. Journal of American Folklore 22 (1909): 168. Originally prepared by Douglas Simms; edited by Jonathan Slocum. Each bold word/phrase in a gloss corresponds to a single word in the source; non-bold terms indicate grammatical information.

Nim eorþan, take 2.sg. imp; earth fem, acc.sg.
oferweorp mid þînre swîþran handa throw-over 2.sg. imp; with prep; your fem, dat.sg; right wk.fem, dat.sg; hand fem, dat.sg.
under þînum swîþran fêt and cweð: under prep; your masc, dat.sg; right wk.masc, dat.sg; foot masc, dat.sg; and conj; say 2.sg. imp.
'Take dirt, throw it under your right foot with your right hand and say:'
 
Fô ic under fôt; seize 1.sg. pres; I under prep; foot masc, dat.sg.
funde ic hit. found 1.sg. pret; I 1.sg; it neut, acc.sg.
'I have it under (my) foot, I found it.'
 
Hwæt, eorðe mæg Lo interj; earth fem, nom.sg; can 3.sg. pres.
with ealra wihta gehwilce, against prep; all neut, gen.pl; creatures neut, gen.pl; each neut, acc.pl.
'Lo! Earth has power
against every creature,'
 
and wið andan and wið æ:minde, and conj; against prep; hatred masc, acc.sg; and conj; against prep; enmity fem, acc.sg.
and wið þâ micelan mannes tungan. and conj; against prep; the fem, acc.sg; great wk.masc, gen.sg; man masc, gen.sg; tongue fem, acc.sg.
'and against hatred and against enmity,
and agains the tongue of a great man.'
 
Forweorp ofer grêot, cast 2.sg. imp; over prep; gravel masc, acc.sg.
þonne hî swirman, and cweð: when; they nom. pl; swarm 3.pl. pres. subj; and conj; say 2.sg. imp.
'Cast (it) over gravel
when they might swarm, and say:'
 
Sitte gê, sigewîf, sit 2.pl. imp; ye 2.pl. nom; victory-women neut, nom.pl.
sîgað tô eorþan, sink 2.pl. imp; to prep; earth fem, dat.sg.
'Sit ye, victory-women,
sink to the earth,'
 
næ:fre gê wilde never adv; ye 2.pl. nom; wildly adv.
tô wudu flêogan! to prep; wood masc, dat.sg; fly 3.pl. pres. subj.
'May ye never fly
wildly to the woods!'
 
Bêo gê swâ gemindige mînes gôdes, be 2.pl. imp; ye 2.pl. nom; as adv; my neut, gen.sg; welfare neut, gen.sg.
swâ bið manna gehwilc metes and êþeles. as adv; is 3.sg. pres; mens' masc, gen.pl; each masc, nom.sg; foodmasc, gen.sg; and conj; property masc, gen.sg.
'Be ye as mindful of my well-being,
as every man is of food and property!'

Key to gloss abbreviations:

Abbrev. Meaning
1.=1st (person)
2.=2nd (person)
3.=3rd (person)
acc.=accusative (case)
adv.=adverb
conj.=conjunction
dat.=dative (case)
fem.=feminine (gender)
gen.=genitive (case)
imp.=imperative (mood)
interj.=interjection
masc.=masculine (gender)
neut.=neuter (gender)
nom.=nominative (case)
pl.=plural (number)
prep.=preposition
pres.=present (tense)
pret.=preterite (tense)
sg.=singular (number)
subj.=subjunctive (mood)
wk.=weak