Monday, August 23, 2010

Monsters Merit Not Reply

[F]imbulfambi heitir sá er fátt kann segja þat er ósnotrs aðal (Havamal 103). "The greatest fool is called he who can say such little, for that is the estate of the unsophisticated." [O]rðum skipta þú skalt aldregi við ósvinna apa því at af illum manni mundu aldregi góðs laun um geta (Havamal 122-3), "Words exchange thou shalt never with an uncouth and rude ape, for from an ill man wilt thou never receive reward for good."

Monsters merit not reply when they open roars from deformed maws and howl ; for merit is the price paid to be received. Many a day the unfinished, unbloomed raw rocks of crudeness roar and wish it speak, yet none are loosed from the long ladder of golden light so struggle stretched up to reach we all must climb. Rough preludes of could-be gems lie jagged and dormant within us, begging polish by kindness and strength and courtesy. But the stones' untamed cliff-scions wreak their havoc in jagged fits, which wins the merit only of Mjollnir. More than this must be ventured if ears of only the most common are wished purchase, let alone the just-below-elven ears of the noble, no less the golden ears of Heimdall, who sole carries the wish and holy bid to Gods, up rainbow paths of sky's hued flames, if he sees merit in the calling. Does one think one moments' folly to shove the curse of bigot's strife and pack the holy ears with dung be carried? Nay, such unworthed words, uncouth and rude, are dropped into the dungheaps ; down there near the dungeons where such offal feeds the awesome Mill.

all translations copyright 2010 by Siegfried Goodfellow


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