Some Dies Irae incantations in English

incantations mercuriusThis is not an exhaustive list of all the chants, just a few I picked out (mostly from the video linked below). Personal favorites, basically. Right, so I think most people that know something about Dies are aware of the fact that the characters’ incantations are from existing works of literature / operas, like Goethe, Wagner and such. This means that translating them can be tricky. Do I go with English translations already out there? Or do I go with my own thing? Well, it’s a bit of both, really. I mean, the Japanese not always seems to match up 100% perfectly with the original. But in other cases, injecting fragments of existing translations into the chants seemed like a valid option. In any case, the bottom line is that whenever I use stuff from existing English translations, I’ll let you know and link you to the source I consulted.

Also, all of this is very much experimental, so take it with a grain of salt, I guess. I only did it because I really enjoy listening to the incantations and genuinely felt like trying my hand at translating some of them. Plus I figured it’d be nice to have a small collection of the various incantations for English-speakers that are interested in the VN.

Fujii Ren = Zarathustra

Video: 0:00 – 2:01

Goethe – Faust

incantations ren

The Sun, since time immemorial, his brother-stars in song had rivaled
Bolting ‘long a path predestined, with thunder echoing in his wake
And with swiftness — swiftness beyond measure –, his perpetual cycle fought
His path ravaged, to ashes scorched
Unknown, peerless supremacy, by heav’ns wrought
Equal in beauty to the first of your days

TL note: I decided to keep close to the German in the last line. But I also changed “brother-spheres” to “brother-stars” to be closer to the Japanese. Also, an interesting thing to note is that “Wettgesang” apparently means a singing match in German. This seems like a small nuance not in the Japanese chant, because 競い (kisoi) can refer to any competition afaik, not just singing. This is why I went with “in song had rivaled”.

Sources:
http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/German/FaustIProl.htm
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14591/14591-h/14591-h.htm

***

Die Sonne toent nach alter Weise In Brudersphaeren Wettgesang.
日は古より変わらず星と競い

Und ihre vorgeschriebne Reise Vollendet sie mit Donnergang.
定められた道を雷鳴のごとく疾走する

Und schnell und begreiflich schnell In ewig schnellem Sphaerenlauf.
そして速く 何より速く 永劫の円環を駆け抜けよう

Da flammt ein blitzendes Verheeren Dem Pfade vor des Donnerschlags;
光となって破壊しろ その一撃で燃やし尽くせ

Da keiner dich ergruenden mag, Und alle deinen hohen Werke
そは誰も知らず 届かぬ 至高の創造

Sind herrlich wie am ersten Tag.
我が渇望こそが原初の荘厳

Vast is the sea, its waves reaching horizons far and wide; eternal is the radiance of its azure womb
And so let us ride this moment and dash forth, swift as light, quick as a star eternal
Hear my plea, and grant this one wish: the world longs for an era of peace; days that know not strife
In a world where only peace is lord, and men join hands in liberty… Allow me to sing but this, O Maiden:
Let the flow of Time halt in its tracks! For the world is but a shade beneath your beauty!
I wish upon your unending star – guide me to heights unknown, O Maiden!

***

Es schaeumt das Meer in breiten Fluessen
海は幅広く 無限に広がって流れ出すもの

Am tiefen Grund der Felsen auf,
水底の輝きこそが永久不変

Und Fels und Meer wird fortgerissen In ewig schnellem Sphaerenlauf.
永劫たる星の速さと共に 今こそ疾走して駆け抜けよう

Doch deine Boten,
どうか聞き届けてほしい

Herr, verehren Das sanfte Wandeln deines Tags.
世界は穏やかに安らげる日々を願っている

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
自由な民と自由な世界で

Zum Augenblicke duerft ich sagen
どうかこの瞬間に言わせてほしい

Verweile doch du bist so schon――
時よ止まれ 君は誰よりも美しいから

Das Ewig-Weibliche Zieht uns hinan.
永遠の君に願う 俺を高みへと導いてくれ

Sakurai Kei = Leonhard August

Video: 2:02

incantations kei

The goddess Izanami, her light forever extinguished
Sleeps her final rest beneath Mt. Hiba amidst Izumo and Hoki, neighbor-lands standing vigil
On its burial grounds Lord Izanagi stood,
His ten-grasp steel drawn,
As Kagu-tsuchi’s head fell to dust beneath the kinslayer’s blade

TL note: The story goes a bit like this: Izanami was Izanagi’s wife. However, she died giving birth to Kagu-tsuchi, and she was buried at Mt. Hiba, at the borders of Izumo and Hoki provinces. Upon learning of her death, Izanagi beheaded Kagu-tsuchi. The sword being referred to here is the Totsuka-no-Tsurugi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totsuka-no-Tsurugi

***

Die dahingeschiedene Izanami wurde auf dem Berg Hiba
かれその神避りたまひし伊耶那美は

an der Grenze zu den Landern Izumo und Hahaki zu Grabe getragen.
出雲の国と伯伎の国 その堺なる比婆の山に葬めまつりき

Bei dieser Begebenheit zog Izanagi sein Schwert,
ここに伊耶那岐

das er mit sich fuhrte und die Lange von zehn nebeneinander gelegten
御佩せる十拳剣を抜きて

Fausten besas, und enthauptete ihr Kind, Kagutsuchi.
その子迦具土の頚を斬りたまひき

Beatrice Waltrud von Kircheisen = Walkure

Video: 2:31

Wagner – Ride of the Valkyries

incantations beatrice

Forgive me, for I have sinned
Borne of loyalty, your will I once defied
Forgive me, for I am naught but a fool, never your equal
Let your crimson pyres have their fill
For he who fears the tip of my lance, their flames shall never cross!

TL note: The chant seems to reference the relationship of Beatrice and Eleonore, so once again I took some liberties. Not too much, though.

***

War es so schmahlich,――
私が犯した罪は

ihm innig vertraut-trotzt’ ich deinem Gebot.
心からの信頼において あなたの命に反したこと

Wohl taugte dir nicht die tor’ ge Maid,
私は愚かで あなたのお役に立てなかった

Auf dein Gebot entbrenne ein Feuer;
だからあなたの炎で包んでほしい

Wer meines Speeres Spitze furchtet, durchschreite das feuer nie!
我が槍を恐れるならば この炎を越すこと許さぬ

Wilhelm Ehrenburg = Kaziklu Bey

(This one is not in the video but I like it a lot, so I included it.)

incantations wilhelm

Ahh, and so I cast away the light of day: the night shall be my chief domain
A night-daemon I long to be, cloaked in darkness, shielded from harm
And free from taint, free from wicked bloodline
Born anew as a maelstrom of carnage and terror and beauty, a phoenix risen from midnight’s ashes

ああ 日の光は要らぬ ならば夜こそ我が世界
夜に無敵となる魔人になりたい
この畜生に染まる血を絞り出し
我を新生させる枕美と暴虐と殺戮の化身―闇の不死鳥

TL note: I guess the second line needs some explanation. It literally says “I wish to become a supernatural, magical being/daemon that becomes invincible during the night”, but that’s quite a mouthful, so I made some changes.

Tubal Cain

Video: 4:37

His chant is from the Kojiki. I also talked about it over here.

incantations-tubalcain

其泣状者青山如枯山泣枯河海者悉泣乾是以惡神之音如狭蝿皆滿

And so fierce was the sundering echo of that lamentation, that the greenest of mountains withered pale in their earthly roots as azure seas and bountiful rivers to famine’s jaws succumbed.

乃神夜良比爾夜良比賜也

And thus the wicked gods sprang forth into the realm, their cry like a swarm of insects reverberating in the cosmos, numbering in the myriads; birthing woe in all they touched.

TL note: As far as I know, famine may also refer to shortage in general, not necessarily just in the context of food, hence why I decided it would be fine to use when talking about the rivers. I also consulted Chamberlain’s translation of the Kojiki’s relevant section: http://sacred-texts.com/shi/kj/kj019.htm

Special thanks to Conjueror for helping me out with this one.

Valeria Trifa = Christof Lohengrin

Video: 5:00

Wagner – Lohengrin

incantations valeria

Ah, my beloved, dearest swan!
Behold this horn, this sword, this ring, and bestow upon him all three
For the horn shall aid him in his time of need,
And the sword shall deliver unto him victory most fortuitous
But this ring shall serve to remind him of me,
so Gottfried himself may know the name of he who freed you from torment and disgrace!

TL note: Valeria’s chant pretty much matches Wagner’s original, at least based on the English version I’ve read online, but I still went with my own translation. You may notice that the name “Gottfried” is not in the original, but it is in the Japanese. I wanted to keep this, hence the somewhat different wording.

***

Mein lieber Schwan.
親愛なる白鳥よ

dies Horn, dies Schwert, den Ring sollst du ihm geben.
この角笛とこの剣と 指輪を彼に与えたまえ

Dies Horn soll in Gefahr ihm Hilfe schenken,
この角笛は危険に際して彼に救いをもたらし

in wildem Kampf dies Schwert ihm Sieg verleiht
この剣は恐怖の修羅場で勝利を与える物なれど

doch bei dem Ringe soll er mein gedenken,
この指輪はかつておまえを恥辱と苦しみから救い出した

der einst auch dich aus Schmach und Not befreit!
この私のことをゴットフリートが偲ぶよすがとなればいい

Machina = Goetz Von Berlichingen

Video: 5:51

Wagner – Parsifal

incantations machina

Death, O glorious, final death! Savior of man!
My heart, drowned in venom, ravaged by time, may beat its last within your embrace
May spear’s wound, may venom’s bane, all perish at your coming
Aye, behold! This festering void gnawing at my soul;
This life-blood, its crimson pearls feeding the earth; this malice, ever coursing my veins — behold!
Clasp your blade, draw your steel!
And plunge deep, deep till the hilt!
Hark, brave knights, and know this:
As the sinner finds his last refuge, his anguish done
So shall divine light be shower’d from the heavens above

TL note: The Japanese chant in the last line makes no mention of the Grail.

***

死よ 死の幕引きこそ唯一の救い
Tod! Sterben Einz’ge Gnade!

Die schreckliche Wunde, das Gift, ersterbe,
この 毒に穢れ 蝕まれた心臓が動きを止め

das es zernagt, erstarre das Herz!
忌まわしき 毒も 傷も 跡形もなく消え去るように

Hier bin ich, die off’ ne Wunde hier!
この開いた傷口 癒えぬ病巣を見るがいい

Das mich vergiftet, hier fliesst mein Blut:
滴り落ちる血の雫を 全身に巡る呪詛の毒を

Heraus die Waffe! Taucht eure Schwerte.
武器を執れ 剣を突き刺せ

tief, tief bis ans Heft!
深く 深く 柄まで通れと

Auf! Ihr Helden:
さあ 騎士達よ

Totet den Sunder mit seiner Qual,
罪人に その苦悩もろとも止めを刺せば

von selbst dann leuchtet euch wohl der Gral!
至高の光はおのずから その上に照り輝いて降りるだろう

Eleonore Von Wittenburg = Samiel Zentaur

Video: 7:04

Wagner – Gotterdammerung (Twilight of the Gods)

incantations eleonore

No man more honest ever took an oath;
None more true made treaty
None was more pure in love;
And yet none so betrayed all oaths, all treaties, his truest love!
Answer me, O mortal man: can you understand why?
The fire raging within my breast shall melt all taint, all impurity to oblivion!
Let yourself be purified, your taint washed, melted clear away; your soul thus released, exalted
Till naught is left but radiant Gold, its lustre pure
Aye, the twilight of the gods is upon us
And so shall I be reborn as the fire that cleanses our sacred halls of Valhalla!

TL note: The first four lines of the chant are not my translation, those were taken from here: http://www.rwagner.net/libretti/gotterd/e-gott-a3s3.html

I was so happy with those four lines that I didn’t want to change anything about them, plus they more or less match the Japanese, too. The rest is my own translation, mostly because the Japanese chant makes no mention of any ring, the lines themselves seemed to be somewhat different, and even the final line had to be adjusted a little bit to fit Eleonore a bit more. I’m not entirely sure what gold the original refers to, but in the context of the VN, it obviously references Reinhard.

***

彼ほど真実に誓いを守った者はなく
Echter als er schwur keiner Eide;

彼ほど誠実に契約を守った者もなく
treuer als er hielt keiner Vertrage;

彼ほど純粋に人を愛した者はいない
lautrer als er liebte kein andrer:

だが彼ほど総ての誓いと全ての契約
und doch, alle Eide, alle Vertrage,

総ての愛を裏切った者もまたいない
die treueste Liebe trog keiner wie er

汝ら それが理解できるか
Wist inr, wie das ward?

我を焦がすこの炎が 総ての穢れと総ての不浄を祓い清める
Das Feuer, das mich verbrennt, rein’ge vom Fluche den Ring!

祓いを及ぼし穢れを流し熔かし解放して尊きものへ
Ihr in der Flut löset auf, und lauter bewahrt das lichte Gold,

至高の黄金として輝かせよう
das euch zum Unheil geraubt.

すでに神々の黄昏は始まったゆえに
Denn der Götter Ende dämmert nun auf.

我はこの荘厳なるヴァルハラを燃やし尽くす者となる
So – werf’ ich den Brand in Walhalls prangende Burg.

Wolfgang Schreiber = Hrozvitnir

Video: 8:06

Wagner – Siegfried

incantations schleiber

Farewell, brave realm of splendor; farewell, Valhalla!
Let your proud castles, towering bastions all crumble to ruin!
Farewell, resplendent pomp of the gods — farewell!
May you find rapture in your end, O race of immortals!

TL note: “resplendent pomp of the gods” was lifted from the English translation found here: http://www.rwagner.net/libretti/siegfried/e-sieg-a3s3.html I did this because I thought the line was pretty much perfect the way it was, and matched the Japanese chant. Also, “race of immortals” in the last line is something I also found in the script linked above, except there it was “immortal race”.

Fahr’hin, Waihalls lenchtende Welt
さらば ヴァルハラ 光輝に満ちた世界

Zarfall’in Staub deine stolze Burg
聳え立つその城も 微塵となって砕けるがいい

Leb’wohl, prangende Gotterpracht
さらば 栄華を誇る神々の栄光

End’in Wonne, du ewig Geschlecht
神々の一族も 歓びのうちに滅ぶがいい

Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich = Mephisto Pheles

Video: 11:32

(Legion is a reference to the New Testament.)

incantations reinhard

No mortal man under the sun, no powers that be, no chains that bind shall constrain Him,
for He dwells in the nether; a soul from the grave is He.
His shackles crumble, his chains fall limp onto the ground before His will; He, the Dweller in the Grave, His cries of mingling agony and madness
No man, no divine breath that course the veins of this universe hold the power to sway Him.
And so the Lord asked – what manner of beast are you?
Your lips breathe folly; your question a sage intellect would never hatch.
If you know not what I am – very well, I shall answer.
Know my name, for it is Legion.

TL note: The Japanese chant does say God, and not Jesus.

Dieser Mann wohnte in den Gruften, und niemand konnte ihm keine mehr,
その男は墓に住み あらゆる者も あらゆる鎖も

nicht sogar mit einer Kette, binden.
あらゆる総てをもってしても繋ぎ止めることが出来ない

Er ris die Ketten auseinander und brach die Eisen auf seinen Fusen.
彼は縛鎖を千切り 枷を壊し 狂い泣き叫ぶ墓の主

Niemand war stark genug, um ihn zu unterwerfen.
この世のありとあらゆるモノ総て 彼を抑える力を持たない

Dann fragte ihn Jesus. Was ist ihr Name?
ゆえ 神は問われた 貴様は何者か

Es ist eine dumme Frage. Ich antworte.
愚問なり 無知蒙昧 知らぬなら答えよう

Mein Name ist Legion――
我が名はレギオン

Karl Kraft = Mercurius

Video: 13:17

(His chant is made up of various Latin proverbs. I once again went with my own translations here.)

incantations mercurius

Arte of divinity, extolled genius, alien diction: mankind’s bane, the heart’s lament
A bond from fortune wrought, its core in tragedy tested, chiseled to perfection
Fortune, O mistress ever so fickle: you claim for your own all that was once given

Blind is Fortune, yet blind, too, are those that seek refuge in her light
Reason’s shackles bind you not: quench, at times, your thirst with folly’s pearls
Revel and drink and frolic in life, for Hades holds no circus for the fallen

己を強くする力も 己を高める知識と言語も人を傷付け 己を病める
Et arma et verba vulnerant Et arma

順境は友を与えるだろう 欠乏は友を試し絆を高める事だろう
Fortuna amicos conciliat inopia amicos probat Exempla

運命とは軽薄である 与えたものをすぐに悉く裏切るが如く返すよう求めるから
Levis est fortuna id cito reposcit quod dedit

運命はそれ自身が盲目であるだけでなく 常に助ける者 救われる者達をも盲目にする
Non solum fortuna ipsa est caeca sed etiam eos caecos facit quos semper adjuvat

僅かの愚かさも思慮に混ぜよ 時に理性を失え それが望ましい
Misce stultitiam consiliis brevem dulce est desipere in loco

食べろ 飲め 遊べ 死後に快楽はないのだから
Ede bibe lude post mortem nulla voluptas

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29 thoughts on “Some Dies Irae incantations in English

  1. Holy shit,a new post from Gare?

    Goddamn the japanese in Dies is a monster to tackle for me right now.
    I watched this video a couple of times before you posted it here,and I’ve tried to translate what I understood from some of the chants,and it wasn’t even close to how well or clearly you translated it here.
    Gotta keep on studying I guess.

    A joy to read as always!

    • Yeah, it can be quite a challenge, because translating the chants too literally can potentially take away from their power.

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed reading them!

      (In the meantime, I made a minor edit in the first line of Mercurius’ chant to include 人を傷付け as “mankind’s bane”. I’m just saying this for those that care about all the little details, haha.)

  2. Great job as always man, the chants in DI are sooo good when you hear them that I always wanted to know what they mean.

    Thanks Gare.

  3. This is a fascinating read for someone who can speak English, Japanese and German at the same time (and even some Latin, too). I kinda wish I could see this post about three years ago, when I had little to no motivation to study German: we did not explore its literature that much, but after reading this, I want to finish reading Faust, and pick up some other stuff, and, you know, actually use the language I thought I’m never going to use.

    And on top of that, this seems to be a good sample of Masada’s Japanese, and it feels simple enough for me to finally pick up Dies Irae. Though I’m sure there are going to be some much more complex scenes, as Tubal Cain’s chant demonstrates.

    • Oh, you know German? Well yeah, I guess you should be able to get 100% enjoyment out of the chants then, haha.

      Honestly, the incantations posted here are hardly the most difficult stuff found in Dies, but seeing how you’ve already read something of Muramasa’s caliber I doubt you’ll have too much trouble tackling Masada’s prose, either.

    • Never read Paradise Lost myself, don’t even have the game. But I heard (aka I just read Moogy’s tweets) that it’s still a decent read for Masada fans, although it’s obviously the earliest and therefore roughest of his works so you probably shouldn’t expect it to be on the same level as Dies. So to answer the question, I don’t think I’ll be doing translations for PL, sorry. At least not anytime soon.

      • Fair enough. Would you happen to have an h-code (or atleast some ITH tips) for Amantes amentes? ITH doesn’t seem to be hooking all of the text, which is making the translations (using ATLAS) come out pretty weird.

      • In-game text display speed (I believe it’s 表示速度 or something like that in the options menu) needs to be set to the maximum. Basically text should appear instantly when you read the game. After this, ITH should be able to hook it perfectly without any codes.

        Hmm, I’m not really sure if reading something as complex as Dies with a machine translator is a good idea, but it’s up to you.

    • I downloaded the same thing (from that same site), scanned it with NOD32 and it found nothing, so… I dunno. Might be something with Norton, but I’m no expert on these things.

  4. That Tubal Cain chant…how the fuck do you even read that?
    I can read normal japanese sentences but Tubal Cain’s lines might as well be chinese as far as I can tell.

    其泣状者青山如枯山泣枯河海者悉泣乾

    how do you actually make sense out of this?

    • Yeah it’s pretty wtf. I couldn’t just read it like that and understand it right away, haha. I had to do some research online to sort of get what it was supposed to be about. That plus some outside help coupled with Chamberlain’s version (for reference) did the trick.

    • That line was written before hiragana was invented so you need to know how to read ancient Japanese (漢文) to make sense out of it. Don’t worry, most modern Japanese can’t read it either. 😀

      If you rewrite it in modern Japanese it should read as:

      其の泣く状は、青山を枯山如す泣き枯らし、河海を悉に泣き乾しき。ここをもて、悪ぶる神の音、狭蠅如す皆涌き、万の物の妖悉に発りき。

      • I searched the wikipedia article about the Kojiki after posting here and it led me to an article about old japanese,so I kinda figured it out afterwards.
        Thanks for the modern translation though,it helps alot!

  5. Pingback: Poetics of Screaming-Your-Face-In | a critical foray into anime, among other things

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