Lorsch Bee Blessing

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Lorsch Bee Blessing (Lorscher Bienensegen) manuscript (Pal. lat. 220, fol. 58r)
Detail (rotated)

The Lorsch Bee Blessing (German: Lorscher Bienensegen), believed to have been written in the 9th century, was discovered in a manuscript (on fol. 58r of the Pal. lat. 220 in the Vatican Library, a copy of the Apocalypse of Paul) from the monastery in Lorsch, Germany, famous for the Lorsch Codex. It is an apiary (bee-keeping) prayer to bring home honey bees in good health to their hives. Despite being a Christian prayer, it has remarkable similarities to the Anglo-Saxon and apparently pagan "For a Swarm of Bees" (Old English "wiþ ymbe") magic charm, and may reflect a common pre-Christian Germanic cultural heritage.[1]

Text[edit]

Old High German[edit]

Kirst, imbi ist hûcze
Nû fliuc dû, vihu mînaz, hera
Fridu frôno in munt godes
gisunt heim zi comonne
Sizi, sizi bîna
Inbôt dir sancte Maria
Hurolob ni habe dû
Zi holce ni flûc dû
Noh dû mir nindrinnês
Noh dû mir nintuuinnêst
Sizi vilu stillo
Uuirki godes uuillon

Translation[edit]

Christ, the bee swarm is out here!
Now fly, you my animals, come.
In the Lord's peace, in God's protection,
come home in good health.
Sit, sit bees.
The command to you from the Holy Mary.
You have no vacation;
Don't fly into the woods;
Neither should you slip away from me.
Nor escape from me.
Sit completely still.
Do God's will.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Grendon (1909:209)

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Grendon, Felix (1909), The Anglo-Saxon Charms