Dermaleinst …

doh uuanit des vilo… gotmanno,
daz Elias in demo uuige
aruuartit userde.
so daz Eliases pluot
in erda kitriufit,
so inprinnant die perga,
poum ni kistentit
enihc in erdu,
aha artruknent,
muor varsuuilhit sih,
suilizot lougiu der himil,
mano vallit,
prinnit mittilagart,
sten ni kistentit,
verit denne stuatago in lant,
verit mit diu vuiru
viriho uuison:
dar ni mac denae mak andremo helfan
vora demo muspille.

Any idea?
Explanation tomorrow.


Exactly, “Das Muspilli” (wikipedia English, German). A poem from the 9th century that describes the end of the world. The word “muspille” or “muspilli” (vers 57) was used by the first editor J.A Schmeller (forget the English “article” about him, use the German one) seemingly because he thought it to be a pagan basical word. The word can be found in Edda one or two times and there is a Mispelheim.
The manuscript that gives us the text originates from the monastery (Ger., Eng.) of St. Emmeram in Regensburg. It contains a Latin sermon about the last things that is wrongly ascribed to St. Augustinus. In this precious handwriting a later and unskilled hand penned in the German (althochdeutsch) poem where he found space: The inner sides of the books cover are lost so the beginning and the end of the poem are too. For the complete text see the bibliotheca augustana, a very helpful site. And if you want to hear it, go to Tübingen – there are three sound files.
Said manuscript was dedicated to young Ludwig by bishop Adalram (826-836). Ludwig was 21 years of age when he became duke of Bavaria 825 and he set up his court in Regensburg 828. Later he will become German king, he is called Ludwig “der Deutsche”.
The poem’s handwriting points to the end of the 9th century, the language is Bavarian with Franconian traces. Surely it came into being a long time before it was written down. It uses old language and old imaginary, old formula mostly from the sphere of law.

Doch glauben die Gottesmänner,
dass Elias in dem Kampfe
verletzt werde,
dass des Elias Blut
auf die Erde träuft.
Da entbrennen die Berge,
kein Baum bleibt stehen,
nicht einer auf Erden,
die Wasser austrocknen,
das Moor versiegt,
zu Lohe schwelt der Himmel,
der Mond fällt,
der Erdkreis brennt,
kein Stein steht mehr fest,
wenn der Sühnetag ins Land fährt,
fährt mit dem Feuer
die Menschen heimzusuchen:
Da kann kein Verwandter dem anderen
helfen vor dem Muspilli.

The men of God ween,
that Elias in this fight
will be hurt,
that Elias’ blood
will pour onto the earth.
The mountains will burn,
no tree survives,
not one on earth,
the waters dry up,
the moor vanishes,
the sky is ablaze,
the moon falls,
Mittelerde burning,
no stone will stay,
when the day of judgement comes,
comes with fire into the land
to hount the humans:
No man will be able
to help another one in the face of the


11 thoughts on “Dermaleinst …

  1. I picked out a few words in German before reading the English. My son is taking German and French this semester. I imagine he would be able to translate a fair bit better than me.I haven’t slept yet either. Worked last night and just got home from school. My heart is doing funny things. I think I fear the muspilli right now.

  2. Hardly. 🙂I have what the Germans call “Mittlere Reife.”School was a must, there was little joy in it. The Library was a different matter.PS. We have already crashed.

  3. I hope nobody has to fear muspille.AustereNo, I doubt that Michel de Nostredame knew this poem. Nostradamus lives roughly sevenhundred years later in a very different cultural setting. Notredame produced “Almanache”, a kind of reader or calendar for people on the countryside – not farmers, because the most people working on the land could not read, but lower nobility, bourgeoise, the local gentry – and he included always a kind of prphecy, a four-line-“poem”. He used this form for comments and ideas and it was a full hit and became something of a self-running thing. Later some hundreds of these were produced and they were used even in the propaganda of the 20th century – the double-cross-actions of the British and the German ns-propaganda both used forged “prophecies” – so it is a very difficult task to separate the “genuine” prophecies – or better the material from the 16th century however one will call it – from the later additions.In the muspilli old pagan ideas shadow, overformed with the new idea of Christianity, the death of Jesus Christ as sacrifice that is. But the author uses old language and images, is still bound in the old idea how the world and how the faith is organized. The Germanic tradition knows the end too, the ragnarög, the final fight and burn – there is no love.Notredame is no pagan, and moves absolutely inside the christian tradition. And produces a very successfull and lucrative book, a kind of goods for his time.(Sorry for my terrible English now, I am thinking German …)

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