Artificael geesten, die na conste haect, Niet en is gemaect dan uut rechter trouwen sterck; Neemt hieraan gemere, opdat gjij die gunste smaect.*
Artistic tempers, with art on your minds Nothing here but what in good faith was done. Now knowing this, relish its affection even more.
We, Brion Rex and Anna Regina bid all Eastern subjects to note the deeds of art wrought by their loyal subject Lijsbet von Catwick. A woman of great artistic curiosity, she cheerfully explores with great abandon and success. Helpful herbs, crafted clothing, fine foods, shaped sugar, little lamps, hardscrabble houpalands — little escapes her interest.
As is fitting for one with a love of arts diverse and sundry, We hereby induct Lijsbet to the Order of the Silver Brooch and award her Arms for her to bear Per chevron inverted urdy purpure and argent semy of escallops purpure, in chief a sea-dragon naiant Or, making her this day a Lady of the Court.
Done by Our hand at the Crown Tournament in the Province of Malagentia on the fifth day of November, A.S. LI.
Brion Rex and Anna Regina
Calligraphy by The Honorable Lord Gwillim Kynith, Illumination by Mistress Agatha Wanderer, Words by Mistress Aneleda Falconbridge and **Anna Bijns (1493-1575) Middle High Dutch poem, translated by Kristaan Aercke. From “Women’s Writing from the Low Countries 1200-1875: A Bilingual Anthology” edited by Lia van Gemert.
Vīsiō ad orbam per gratia artis.*
Audite verbis Ivan et Matilde que regis regineque regnum orientalis.
Scite quotd his litteris agnoscimus virtutem dignitatemque subjecti nostrorum Gnaea Celera.
Celear ultro meretur quam ob rem ametur; ita dapsiliter suos amicos alit.*
Vitriarius artificium suum supremum optumum adpellat. Creare pulchras creterras, vitrum lepistas. Nulla dies sine artēs.*
Ergo Celera consocias cum consortium fibula argentum. Extollimus et assignamus ei ordonis domina et beneficium armis [____blazon________]. Fit manibus nostris in IX die Decembris anno societatis LLI epulāribus baronia Bhakailia festum adventi.
She sees the world through love of art.*
Pay heed to the words of Ivan and Matilde, Tsar and Tsaritsa of the East Kingdom.
Know that by these letters we recognize the worth and dignity of our subject Gnaea Celera.
Celera earns of herself the merit of being loved; so abundantly does she nourish her friends.*
The glassmaker calls on her art, the all-highest and good. She creates beautiful bowls and glass goblets. She has not a day without art.*
Therefore, we join Celera with the Order of the Silver Brooch.
We extole her and commit her to the rank of lady and grant to [him/her] all rights to the arms [______blazon________]. Done by our hands on the 9 day of December, in the year of the society 52 at the Yule Feast in the Barony of Bhakail.
*adapted from fragments of poems by Gnaeus Naevius
This was written to be presented in either long-paragraph or short paragraph style in the scroll. Calligraphy and Illumination was done by by Mari Clock. It has 86 words in Latin and138 in the English translation.
In the Eastern lands ruled great King called Brennan and also his wife Queen Caoilfhionn. Brynhildr Amsvarsdottir had come to serve their longhouse and was sent to guard the land’s most precious treasure, the Queen. It was the fiftieth year, on the seventh day of nóvember, after Gormánuður but before Ýlir, that Brynhildr was called to the Crown Tournament in the holdings of the Hersir of Bergental. Because she had served with joy and abundance, she was given the right to bear arms, ____________________________________ and take the title Hefdharkona. The King had his poet and scribe make for her a ring of word-gold to be read and seen that day.
The linden of the battle-wall
lifted her slender hands
to join the Njords of swords.
Shield-bearer now arms-bearer
Silver-goddess of the raven-field
You are worthy to hear an ode
war-valiant one, wrought for you* King Brennan and Queen Caiolfhionn made their names on it.
Brynhildr is a fighter and man-at-arms to Sir Brennan, who has been a brother to me. I was thrilled to be able to write text for her. Norse sagas frequently used prose and then called out a poem of praise (or insult, on occasion too!). I used the same technique to do this. I had to edit mercilessly – the original wanted to be longer, but sometimes we just have to live by the word count. I pulled directly one line from the Sagas of the Warrior Poets, because I wanted her to have that direct connection to the past in this piece. (I try to do that with pretty much all my text.)
Below are my working notes to produce this piece.
(The longer piece)
In those days the ruler of the Eastern lands was a great Chieftain called Brennan. Beside him ruled his wife Caoilfhionn. Now Brynhildr Amsvarsdottir had come to serve the King and was sent to guard his most precious treasure, the Queen. Brynhildr wore a shirt of silver plates against which her dark hair shone like trees against the moon. After she had served for a full year and more, at the Crown Tournament in the holdings of the Hersir of Bergental. It was held on the seventh day of nóvember, after Gormánuður but before Ýlir. Brynhildr was called to court that day where she was given the right to bear arms
________________________________________ and be called Hefdharkona. The King had his poet make for her a ring of word-gold and it was read.
You are worthy to hear an ode
war-valiant one, wrought for you* (31 in Sagas of the Warrior Poets)
The linden of the battle-wall (the shield maiden)
has lifted her slender hands
to join the Njords of swords. (the gods of the swords)
Silver-goddess of the raven-field
from shield-bearer to arms-bearer
Gormánuður (mid October – mid November, “slaughter month” or “Gór’s month”)
Ymende. þet þis boc is uolueld ine þe Hunt in þe Barony of Endewearde on þe day of Saint Comgan of Iona in ane Kenric Cyng and Avelina Quene of þe East, ine þe yeare of oure Society beringe 48.
Pearl of goodness,
I speak of Admiranda, Muse of Aranmor
That all her excellence can tell
She so blithe, so bright, Admiranda
In the world is none so witty
Seemliest of all things, we merry sing
Her arm pulleth true the string
With lovely cheer she makes the mark
And wonderfully she makes the feast
That we make merry with drink and meat
Servant true, of wise virtue
Hark to our song,
To all sweetness see
That Lady Admiranda Howard be
And give her arms for her alone
Let it be known that this work was fulfilled in the Hunt in the Barony of Endewearde on the day of Saint Comgan* of Iona by Kenric King and Avelina Queen of the East, in the year of the society 48.
Words based on the earliest English I could manage (a mix of 13th/14th c inspired by period lyric verses in praise of women, for example, “Alesone”) with a finishing phrase from the English translation by Michael of Northgate from 1340, from the French “Somme le Roi” to the English “Ayenbite of Inwyt” (or ‘the again-biting of inner wit’, Remorse (or Prick) of Conscience. 12th Century English is actually Anglo-Saxon, and it’s beyond my ability without major reading and research. I tried to read some and …it looks like I should be able to read it but I can’t. It made me feel like I was going sort of insane.
Wæs midsumor ða se casere sendede, be al his þeode læred and lawed on his kynerice wæron, æfter Ellen on Scrobbesbyrig þet heo æuestlice scolde to him cumon, heo swa dyde.
Ða cwæð se casere to hire: ‘Leof Ellen, ic haue geseond æfter þe for mine saule þurfe, ic hit wile þe wæl secgon forhwi.”
Ða cwæð se casere heo wæs god wifmann and sigewif. For twentig gearum, heo com fram begeondan beorge and heo geaf wæter to norðfrecan. Ealle folc lufede hire, for heo ahealp þam wearigum byrnwigum, þam unlytel and ungetel eorlwerode.
Þa stod se casere up toforen ealle his ðægna cwæd luddor stefne: “ic wille þet ge ealle getiðe mine worde.”
Ðas is se gife: To libbanne on þas landes, þas wateres, meres, fennes, weres, ealle þa landes þa þærabuton liggeð ða of mine kynerice sindon freolice Hlaefdigan Ellen.
Se casere cwæþ þa wærð he swiðe glæd; heot seonden geond al his þeode æfter alle his þægne, æfter ærcebiscop, æfter biscopes, æfter his eorles, æfter alle þa þone East luuedon, þet he sette þa dæi hwonne man scolde Ellen gehalegon. Ða man halgode heo, þa wæs se casere Brennan and his casern Caoilfhionn.
Þat was þone twelfta dæg of Liða, anno sociatis xlix æt þeode beadulace norðeaste on Malagentia.
Ðas sindon þa witnes þe þær wæron, þa þet gewriten mid here fingre, ietten mid here tunge.
In midsummer sent the emperor, by the counsel of all his people learned and lewd in his kingdom, after Ellen of Shrewsbury, that she should immediately come to him. And she so did.
Then said the emperor to her: “Beloved Ellen, I have sent after thee for the good of my soul; and I will plainly tell thee for why.”
Then said the emperor that she was a good woman, and a wise woman. For twenty years she had come from beyond the mountain and given water to northern heroes. All loved her for she assisted the weary soldiers clad in armor, the large and innumerable warrior band.
Then stood up the emperor before all his thanes, and said with a loud voice: “I will that you all confirm my words.
This is the gift: To live on these lands, and these waters, and meres, and fens, and weirs, and all the lands that thereabout lye, that are of my kingdom, freely, as Lady Ellen.”
When the king said that, he was very glad; and bade men send through all the nation, after all his thanes; after the archbishop, and after bishops: and after his earls; and after all those that loved the East, and he fixed the day when men should hallow Lady Ellen. And when they were hallowing her, there was the emperor Brennan, and his empress Caoilfhionn.
That was the 12th of July, Anno Societatis XLIX in the Great Northeastern War in Malagentia.
These are the witnesses that were there, and that subscribed it with their fingers and confirmed it with their tongues.
To do this scroll I read an online version of the Anglo Saxon Chronicles (http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/657/pg657.html) and an English translation of them (http://asc.jebbo.co.uk/e/e-L.html).
I had to look up sections which said what I wanted, and then sometimes search for a word that the original didn’t contain. I also looked for appropriate place names in the proper period for Shrewsbury, for example, as it would have been noted in the Chronicles.
When I was done, I sent the translation (What I Meant To Say) and the Anglo Saxon text to Lady Dreda who proofread it and then made changes to square up gender and some word orders, as well as polish it.
Duke Kenric of Essex read it in court in Anglo Saxon English as well as in Modern English at the Great Northeastern War.