En 13c Death of Adela

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    Ott 2024

    13c. Death of Adela

    [093/18] The second writing:

    Fifteen months after the last assembly, it was Friendship month, or Winnemonth (May). All had given themselves over to merriment and rejoicing, and no one had a care about anything more than feeding his own delight. But Wralda wished to teach us that wakefulness must never be neglected.

    In the midst of the festivities, a fog came and enveloped our lands in dense darkness. Pleasure abandoned us, but wakefulness did not return.

    The beach sentinels had left their signal posts, and on the ways into the settlement there were none to be found.

    When the fog lifted, [094] Sun peered down upon Earth through rents in the clouds. Everyone came back out, cheering and shouting. The youth paraded and sang with blossoming branches that filled the air with their sweet fragrance. But, while all were bathing in delight, treason had landed, with horses and riders. As with all evil, they were aided by the darkness and had sneaked through the paths of Lindenwood.

    By Adela’s door, twelve lasses with twelve lambs passed, and twelve lads with twelve calves. A young Saxman rode a wild aurochs that he had caught and tamed. They were adorned with many different flowers, and the linen tunics of the girls were fringed with gold from the Rhine.

    When Adela came out to the people, a rain of blossoms fell upon her head. All cheered loudly and the horns of the youths resounded. Poor Adela, poor folk! How briefly shall your joy abide.

    When the procession was out of sight, a group of Magyar riders came galloping straight towards Adela’s home. Her father and her husband were still sitting on the stoop. The door was open, and inside stood Adelbrost, her son. When he [095] saw that his parents were in danger, he took his bow from the wall and aimed at the gang leader, who fell and tumbled onto the grass. A similar fate met the second and the third. Meanwhile, his elders had taken up their arms and sallied forth recklessly to join battle. The gang would quickly have taken them, but Adela came. At the burg, she had learned to handle all weapons. Seven feet tall she was, and her staff equally long. Three times she swung it over her head and, each time it came down, another attacker bit into the grass. Help came rounding the corner of the lane, and the raiders were slain or captured. But too late. An arrow had hit Adela in the chest. Treacherous Magy!

    Its head had been dipped in poison, and this is what killed her.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.129 cont.] The Second Writing.

    Fifteen months after the last general assembly, at the festival of the harvest month, everybody gave himself [p.131] up to pleasure and merry-making, and no one thought of anything but diversion; but Wr-alda wished to teach us that watchfulness should never be relaxed. In the midst of the festivities the fog came and enveloped every place in darkness. Cheerfulness melted away, but watchfulness did not take its place. The coastguard deserted their beacons, and no one was to be seen on any of the paths. When the fog rose, the sun scarcely appeared among the clouds; but the people all came out shouting with joy, and the young folks went about singing to their bagpipes,[1] filling the air with their melody. But while every one was intoxicated with pleasure, treachery had landed with its horses and riders. As usual, darkness had favoured the wicked, and they had slipped in through the paths of Linda's wood. Before Adela's door twelve girls led twelve lambs, and twelve boys led twelve calves. A young Saxon bestrode a wild bull which he had caught and tamed. They were decked with all kinds of flowers, and the girls’ dresses were fringed with gold from the Rhine.

    When Adele came out of her house, a shower of flowers fell on her head; they all cheered loudly, and the fifes of the boys were heard over everything. Poor Adele! poor people! how short will be your joy! When the procession was out of sight, a troop of Magyar soldiers rushed up to Adela's house. Her father and her husband were sitting on the steps. The door was open, and within stood Adelbrost her son. When be saw the danger of his parents, he took his bow from the wall and shot the leader of the pirates, who staggered and fell on the grass. The second and third met a similar fate. In the meantime his parents had seized their weapons, and went slowly to Jon's house. They would soon have been taken, but [p.133] Adela came. She had learned in the burgt to use all kinds of weapons. She was seven feet high, and her sword was the same length. She waved it three times over her head, and each time a knight bit the earth. Reinforcements came, and the pirates were made prisoners; but too late—an arrow had penetrated her bosom! The treacherous Magy had poisoned it, and she died of it.

    Note Sandbach

    1. Gürbam. C. Niebuhr, Travels, vol. I. p. 174. The bagpipe is called by the Egyptians Sumâra el Kürbe. [note Ott: In his second edition (1876), Ottema had changed this footnote into (translated): "Gürbam. Scent tree, i.e. the flowering hawthorn."]

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    En 13b Treason ᐊ previous/next ᐅ En 13d Ode to Adela


    Nl 13c De Gifpijl