I have a ton of Mark Twain to read (or it would be, if ink weighed anything at all) and a report on the usefulness of SDS-Page to complete, so I’m only going to post the first half of this translation tonight. The rest is soon to come!

For those of you who celebrated Darwin Day yesterday, OOOK! Even though we aren’t descended from monkeys, I enjoy flaunting my 98% simian affinity as much as the next hominid. Also, happy Valentine’s Day. I suspect the original man’s letters were much sweeter than our chocolate tributes, but, all things considered, I’m happy with the chocolate. Furthermore, I’m glad to be from a nation where both men and women receive gifts on the same day. From what we’ve been learning about Japanese corporate subtleties, White Day has gotta be one awkward occasion! Still, if that’s what you celebrate, have a good one.

To him was a cup borne, and a cordial invitation
in words offered, and wound gold
with good will given, arm-wreaths two,
garments and rings, neckrings the greatest
of which I on Earth have heard of.
I have heard of nothing finer under the sky
of hero’s treasures, since Hama carried off
to that magnificent stronghold the Brosings’ necklace,
jewel and precious setting – from cunning enmity fled
of Eomenric, and chose eternal gain.
That ring had Hygelac of the Geats,
nephew* of Swerting, on his last expedition,
after he under the standard the treasure defended,
war-takings protected; him fate carried off,
since he for pride sought trouble,
feud with Frisia. He those adornments carried,
precious stones over the waves’ cup,
mighty prince; he under his mighty shield fell dead.
Fell then into Frankish hands the king’s body,
breastcoats and that necklace also;
by a worse warrior was the slain plundered
after the battle carnage; the Geatish people
the place of corpses held.

*the word is the same for grandson and nephew. My choice of nephew was on a whim.