Old English/1st reading: David's feats

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A slow reading of this passage


Note that grammatical suffixes have been bolded, to help easy identification.

This reading is from Ælfric. The spelling has been slightly normalized.

Reading[edit | edit source]

Saul hātte sē forma cyning þe ofer godes folc rīxode

Sē ƿæs tō cyninġe āhafen sƿȳðor for folces ġecorennysse⁠ þonne ðurh godes rǣd.

Fela ōðre cyningas⁠ rīxodon ǣr ġeond ealne middaneard ofer hǣðenum lēodum · ac ofer israhēla folc þe on god belȳfde næs nān eorðliċ cyning ǣr ðan þe saul sƿā sƿā hī sylfe ġecuron ofer hī cynerīċe underfēng ·

Sē bēah hrædlīċe fram þæs ælmihtigan godes ƿillan⁠ and nolde be his ƿissunge and be his ƿitegan lāre faran · and sē yfela gāst hine drehte mid deofollicum stiċelsum · and on unġeƿitte his mōd āƿende ·

Þā forseah sē ælmihtiga god þone saul æt nēxtan ·⁠ and hine of his rīċe āƿearp be his āgenum ġeƿyrhtum · and ġeċēas him tō cyninġe þone cēnan dauid ·

Sē ðe būtan ƿǣpnum ġeƿylde ðā lēon · and þæs beran ċeaflas tōbræc mid his handum · and āhredde þæt ġelæhte sċēp of his sċearpum tōðum ·

Hē ofƿearp ēac syððan þone sƿȳþlican ent⁠ · goliam þone gramlican þe godes naman hyrƿde · and mid ġebēote clypode bysmor godes folce · ġearu tō ānƿīġe mid ormettre ƿǣpnunge ·

Hƿæt; þā dauid ēode tōġēanes þām ente ·⁠ and ofƿearp mid his liþeran þone ġelēaflēasan ent · būfon ðām ēagan þæt hē bēah tō eorðan ·

Ġelǣhte þā of ðām ente his āgen sƿurd ·⁠ and his ormǣte hēafod mid þām of āslōh · and hæfde ðā ġeƿunnen sīġe his lēode ·

Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Note that for the purposes of alphabetic listing, the prefix "ġe-" is not accounted for. If you cannot find a word beginning with "ġe-" in the g section, go at the section of the first letter following "ġe-".

  • ac (conj) -- but
  • āhebban (s6) -- to lift up; to elevate; "tō cyninġe āhebban" - "to elevate to king"
  • āhreddan (w1) -- to save, rescue
  • and (conj) -- and
  • āƿendan (w1) -- to change
  • āƿearp -- singular preterite indicative of "āƿeorpan"
  • āƿeorpan (s3) -- to throw out, get rid of, dispose of
  • ælmihtiġ (aj) -- almighty
  • ǣr (av)- before, previously; already; (conj) before
  • ǣr þan þe (conj) -- before
  • æt nēxtan (av phrase) -- next, next thing
  • be (prep) -- (+dat) by means of; by, beside, by the side of; concerning, about, with regards to
  • belīfan (w1) -- to believe, to trust, to have faith; "belīfan on (+acc)" - "to believe in"
  • bera (wm) -- bear
  • būgan (s2) -- to bend, to turn
  • būtan (prep) -- (+dat) without
  • ċeafl (sm) -- jaw
  • ġeċēas -- singular preterite indicative of "ġeċēosan"
  • cēne (aj) -- bold, fierce, brave
  • ġeċēosan (s2) -- to choose, to select, to make a choice
  • ġecorennness (sf) -- choice, choosing
  • cynerīċe (sn) -- kingdom
  • cyning (sm; gen: cyninġes; dat: cyninġe) -- king
  • deofolliċ (aj) -- demonic, devilish
  • dreċċan (w1) -- to torment
  • eall (aj) -- all
  • eorðliċ (aj) -- earthly, of this world
  • faran (s6) -- to go, to proceed
  • fela (indec aj) -- many
  • folc (sn) -- people
  • forma (ord) -- first
  • forseah -- see "forsēon"
  • forsēon (s5) -- to overlook, neglect, reject
  • gāst (sm) -- spirit, ghost
  • ġeond (prep) -- (+acc) throughout
  • god (sm) -- God
  • hātan (s7b) -- to call, to command; to be called. NOTE: the passive form "to be called", takes an additional -t-: Saul hātte - "(He) was called Saul". This is an archaic feature only present in hātan.
  • hǣðen (aj) -- heathen, pagan
  • hē (3prs sg pron) -- he; it (referring to grammatically masculine non-living objects)
  • hine -- accusative of "hē"
  • him -- dative of "hē"
  • hrædlīċe (av) -- quickly, soon
  • israhēlas (sm pl) -- the Israelites, Israel
  • lār (sf) -- teaching, instruction
  • ġelæċċan (w1) -- to catch, seize
  • ġelæht -- past participle of "ġelæċċan"
  • lēo (wm) -- lion
  • lēod (sf) -- nation, people(-group)
  • middaneard (sm) -- the earth, the world
  • mōd (sn) -- mind
  • nān (aj) -- not any, no, none (West Saxon dialect)
  • næs (contraction) -- "ne ƿæs" - "was not": SEE "ƿesan" and "ne"
  • ne (av) -- (before verbs, NOT before adjectives or nouns) not; (conj) nor
  • nolde (contraction) -- "ne ƿolde" - "did not want": SEE "ƿillan" and "ne"
  • of (prep) -- (+dat) from, out of; from (place of origin)
  • ofer (prep) -- (+dat) over
  • on (prep acc/dat) -- (with acc) marking object of thought; (with dat) in, on, into
  • rīċe (sn) -- kingdom, empire, state; rulership
  • rīxian (w2) -- to rule
  • saul (sm) -- Saul, king of Israel
  • sċēp (sn) -- sheep
  • sċearp (aj) -- sharp
  • sē (article) -- the, that
  • sē þe (rel pron) -- who, he who
  • stiċels (sm) -- goad, thorn
  • sƿā (conj) -- as, of the same degree, like; "sƿā sƿā" - "just like", "just as"
  • sƿīðor (av) -- more
  • sylf (aj) -- self, (him/her/etc)-self; NOTE: could be used either reflexively with the suitable personal pronoun, or emphatically. When it followed a noun or a pronoun, it could be declined strong: "hī sylfe" - "they themselves".
  • tō (prep) -- (+dat) to; as (denoting fulfilment of a role)
  • tōbrecan (s4) -- to break apart
  • tōð (sm i-mut) -- tooth
  • þā (av) -- then (referring to a specific instance), on that occasion
  • þonne (conj) - than (in comparatives)
  • þe (rel pron) -- which, who, that. NOTE: Used to introduce relative clauses "the person who did that" - "sē mann þe dyde þæt"
  • þurh (prep) -- (+acc) by, by means of
  • underfōn (s7) -- to accept; "cynerīċe underfēng" -- "(he) accepted (the) (rule of the) kingdom"
  • unġeƿitt (sn) -- insanity, senselessness
  • ƿesan (irregv) -- to be
  • ƿilla (wm) -- will, desire
  • ƿillan (irreg vaux) -- to want, to desire, to wish (to do)
  • ƿissung (sf) -- instruction, guidance
  • ƿītega (wm) -- prophet, wise man, soothsayer
  • ġeƿyrht (sn) -- work, deed
  • ġeƿyldan (w1) -- to subdue, to conquer, take power over
  • yfel (aj) -- bad, evil