The Magnanimous Enemy :: J. L. Borges



Magnus Barfod, in the year 1102, undertook the general conquest
of the kingdoms of Ireland; it is said that on the eve of his death
he received this greeting from Muirchertach, king in Dublin:

May gold and the storm fight along with you in your armies,
Magnus Barfod.
Tomorrow, in the fields of my kingdom, may you have a
happy battle.
May your kingly hands be terrible in weaving the sword stuff.
May those opposing your sword become meat for the red swan.
May your many gods glut you with glory, may they glut you
with blood.
Victorious may you be in the dawn, king who tread on Ireland.
Of your many days may none shine bright as tomorrow.
Because that day will be the last. I swear it to you,
King Magnus.
For before its light is blotted, I shall vanquish you and blot
you out, Magnus Barfod.

From H. Gering: Anhang zur Heimskringla (1893)

[From Dreamtigers, by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Harold Morland]

One thought on “The Magnanimous Enemy :: J. L. Borges

  1. Hi!! I’m from Argentina. I needed to translate some words into English and you helped me very much!! Thank you.
    How ever, there’s a mistake in the last sentence when he repeats the nam. Instead of saying “Barford” it says “Farfod”. Bar=> Far = Lejos (en español)
    It is very imporant (so much more for people who speak English) because it shows how serious he was when he says “te borraré”
    Thank you!
    and sorry if my English is terrible!

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