100 (D/E) - Het Daget in den Oosten / The Day Breaks in the East

Sunrise over Mindanao (Philippines), seen from Ozamis harbor.
Sunrise over Mindanao (Philippines), seen from Ozamis harbor
Het daget in den oosten,
het lichtet overal,
hoe luttel weet mijn liefken,
och, waar ik henen zal.

Och, waren't al mijn vrienden,
die mijn vijanden zijn,
ik voerd'u uiten lande,
mijn lief, mijn minnekijn.

Dats waar zoudt gij mij voeren,
stout ridder welgemeid?
Ik ligg' in mijns liefs armkens,
met groter waardigheid.
At dawn the sun is rising,
light through the world does flow,
how little does my love know,
o, whither I shall go.

My enemies surround me,
if they my friends would be,
my love, my sweet,
I'd take thee over the stormy sea.

Then whither would you take me,
o knight so brave and gay?
The arms of my beloved
will hold me everyday.
Gertrude van der Oosten, 1330-1358 [Dutch] [English] - Antwerps Liedboek, 1544.
English translation ©Amaranth13.

I thought this was an appropriate citation to start my journey. But like all citations, this fragment is out of context. The meaning of this medieval Dutch poem is somewhat obscured by it's merry English translation that sacrifices clarity to rhyme. If there is one thing that's simply untranslatable, it's poetry.
The last verse, I would translate like this: "So where would you take me then, you naughty and jolly knight? I already do have a Lover; I'm lying in His arms, and He is far more worthy than you!".

Gertrude van der Oosten was a beguine. In the years during and after the 200 years of the Crusades, say from the First Crusade (1095-1099) to the Ninth Crusade (1271-1272) there had been multitudes of women widowed and orphaned by these wars. They couldn't find a husband (scarcity on the market), so beguines flocked together in walled compounds (beguinages) or ghettos to seek shelter from their rough surroundings. As a sort of sublimation, some of them imagined (like nuns) that Jesus was their groom, and that's the Lover Gertrude is referring too.

Gertrude was so taken by her more worthy Lover, that she forsaked the carnal temptations of a naughty and jolly knight that passed by, and probably just wanted to have a good time. Gertrude was so much in love with Jesus that she developed a syndrome called hysterical conversion, a psychosomatic disorder in which bodily organic dysfunctions (e.g. blindness, paralysis) are the result of an extreme state of mind. In her case, it was the stigmata, or mimicry of the alleged wounds of Jesus on the cross.

"It is said that blood flowed seven times a day from the wounds of Venerable Gertrude van der Oosten (1330-1358). Alarmed by the multitude of people who flocked to witness the wonder, she begged that the favor might be withdrawn, and her prayer was so far granted that the blood ceased to flow, but the marks of the stigmata remained as colored scars."

"Stigmata is usually accompanied by several other supernatural phenomena, including the powers of prophecy and healing, bilocation (being in two places simultaneously), levitation, and very often inedia (the ability to forgo nourishment)."

More supernatural and slightly morbid fun to read here.

05:54 Gepost door VH | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |


A friendly yet firm reminder Dude, like, if you REALLY want to use markup in your titles AND not have other people drop your RSS could you PLEASE make sure the closing tags are ALSO present?

Gepost door: dof | 25-03-05

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