Early confidence seems to have given way to later misreading, and I’m noticing a few places where I can not possibly tell what I might have been thinking:

“þæt ge mec to wundre wegan motun” (line 370). Totally misreading here. I replaced it with “to when you all are allowed to lift me up as a wonder.” [Since this line comes right after a large lacuna, it is difficult to tell if the poem has just recounted one of the moments when the devils carried Guthlac someplace, as they were so famously wont to do.

What I’m noticing most of all is the remains of my first efforts to lineate the poem, which tended towards extremely long lines. I usually don’t worry to much about paralleling the way that the original is laid out by its editor, but the very long lines did not really work. Some of these are close to the first draft, and need to re-considered carefully.

Also, that parenthetical section at ll. 460-67 (which begins “In þam mægwlite…”) is quite a bit longer in Muir than I had originally read it. I was thrown by the switch to the “ge” voice at line 463b, which should not have confused me since that’s the second person plural pronoun: the shift is not the demon accusing Guthlac, but the narrator accusing all those faulty monks through direct address.

A good day of work on this: got to line 739. At this rate I’ll be deep into Guthlac B by the time I stop tomorrow.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *