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Sunset on Calvary by Qitian Sunset on Calvary by Qitian
... this is probably the most religious piece of art I did ever since elementary school.

Anyway. All of Wednesday I had this short Middle English lyric stuck in my head. This was rather annoying, seeing how it really is a very, very short lyric, and if you hear it in your head over and over and over again.... well.
I eventually though that, since I had it stuck in my head anyway, I might as well work with it.

So I made a medieval-ish illumination of the lyric. The capital N is vaguely inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels (by "vaguely inspired" I mean, I was too lazy to look it up but I think the style was kind of like that).

For those who can't read the funny Middle English letters, the text goes:
Nou goth sonne under wode;
me reweth, Marie, thin faire rode.
Nou goth sonne under tre;
me reweth, Marie, thin sone and the.

For those who can't read Middle English, period, a Modern English translation would be:
Now the sun sets under the wood[en cross];
I pity, Mary, thy pale countenance.
Now the sun sets under the tree;
I pity, Mary, thy son and thee.

(It is, as you see, a rather simple lyric. But I think the simplicity is actually what makes it so moving.)

Ink and watercolours on paper that is actually much to absorbent for ink. Photographed, not scanned, because scanning always turns the gold into greenish grey.

Text transmitted to us by way of Edmund Rich, one-time archbishop of Canterbury, better-known today as St Edmund of Pontigny, who cites this quatrain (probably only a short excerpt from a ballad) in his Speculum Ecclesiae.
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Theophilia Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ooooh! I like! It's very beautiful! :D :aww: I especially like your intricate celtic knotwork; it is very pretty design! Did you reference it from somewhere? I find I usually have to reference them, otherwise I'd probably mess it up somewhere. :XD: Those knots take soem paying attention to. :D And like ~haius said, thank you kindly for the translation. Unfortunately, a lot of us are not readers of lovely Middle English. ;)

I hope you had a lovely Easter! :dance: :hug: :floating:
Qitian Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's quite hard to answer the reference question, actually! I didn't actually look them up or use some kind of reference sheet for them but just doodled around until it looked Celtic, but I'm sure I saw the design somewhere at some point and it just got stuck in my memory. I did mess up in several places, actually, but as it's not crassly noticeable, I decided to leave it like that instead of trying to correct it and probably messing it up even more...

Middle English isn't that hard, actually, especially when you know German on top of Contemporary English. And I took some liberties with the translation. A literal translation would've been
Now goes the sun under the wood,
Me rues, Mary, thy fair redness.
Now goes the sun under the tree,
Me rues, Mary, thy sun and thee

which you doubtlessly recognise in the original words ;)
I just figured that I'd be a bit less literal and explain what's meant by "fair redness" (namely, the pale colour of her face). And as "me rues" feels ungrammatical in Modern English (it still works in German, mich reut, but it's old-fashioned even there), I thought I'd translate it in somewhat less archaic words as well. But it's not like the words are totally different to start with. ;)

It was nice enough - unfortunately Easter Sunday was rather humid and cloudy so I had a headache all day, and unfortunately the service was held by the somewhat more boring parson, but otherwise all was well. Hope you had a lovely Easter, too!
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I looked but I couldn't see any mistakes in the Celtic knotwork, so I'm very impressed. :D I can never make up that kind of stuff in my head. :XD:

Hehehe, I suppose that's true, you very lucky person knowing German and English. :D It's harder for me to read it than when I hear it, you know? If I hear Beowulf read out loud, for exaple, I can sometimes understand what they're saying. One moment in particular I thought was funny, when they said "He was a good king!" I recognized that immedietly because of German. :XD:
Qitian Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
... and that should obviously have been "thy son", not "thy sun". Evil homophones.
haius Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2009  Hobbyist
I like, and I thank thee kindly for the translation! i would say I should do this next time I've got some song stuck in my head, but then I'd end up with illuminated pop songs, and that'd be kind of weird.

Qitian Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
*laughs* Oh, but that would be interesting as well! Then bury it and watch the archaeologists puzzle over the apparently medieval script of, I dunno, Pink lyrics :D
haius Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2009  Hobbyist
"I think I just lost my husband... I wanna start a fight"

well, surely this shows that early 21st century society was characterized by female aggression, and... uh...

no, sorry, I can't make it funny. sigh.
MrsMatt Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2009
Wow, this is beautiful! I especially like the gold detail on the capital N.

I love Middle English, though I can't read it. It's nice to see some on here.

Very pretty. :3

Qitian Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That was a lot of work, I can tell you! And I'm such an impatient person.

Thank you so much!
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Submitted on
April 10, 2009
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