Without your nimble words, afterward you’ll stand in increasing pain,
the pain in your hands spreading down to your feet, and fast:
For it’s afoot, it waits to hit.
Hard, malignant without glancing back.
and without ending and without calculation
and without a motivation men can understand.
And so putting forward great effort, you must greet the swarm and say:
Sit down, enough, listen to my words!
Control your wildness to come to resolution.
See we have history shared gods,
we are born of the same magic mates and friends.
This is a transliteration of a poem originally written in old English. In transliteration, the poet tries to "translate" a poem from a language she doesn't know, just by guessing what the words might mean based on how they sound (or on any knowledge of word structure she might have).
Here is the original version of Metrical Charm 8: For a Swarm of Bees (and here is an actual translation):
Wið ymbe nim eorþan, oferweorp mid þinre swiþran
handa under þinum swiþran fet, and cwet:
Fo ic under fot, funde ic hit.
Hwæt, eorðe mæg wið ealra wihta gehwilce
and wið andan and wið æminde
and wið þa micelan mannes tungan.
And wiððon forweorp ofer greot, þonne hi swirman, and cweð:
Sitte ge, sigewif, sigað to eorþan!
Næfre ge wilde to wuda fleogan.
Photo by Victor L. Lee
Doing this prompt reminded me of my mom, who always confuses song lyrics. She used to sing Macy Gray's line "My world crumbles when you are not near" as "I blow bubbles when you are not near." What lyrics have you heard other people accidentally butcher?