I'm trying to read "The Nibelungenlied" in metrical English translation by George Henry Needler (http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/niebn10h.htm). However, I've got certain difficulties with doing this. The translator explicitly notes in the preface that the strophes of the poem have this structure: three regular lines with two half-lines each with three accented syllables and a caesura in the middle, then fourth line with three and four accented syllables in each half respectevily, so that the last line of strophe is lengthened.
I was unable to read it aloud keeping the rhythm, because after reading three regular lines, fourth isn't getting into my mind no matter how I try. For example, take the first strophe:
To us in olden story / are wonders many told Of heroes rich in glory, / of trials manifold: Of joy and festive greeting, / of weeping and of woe, Of keenest warriors meeting, / shall ye now many a wonder know.
So, my first question is: how are the accents placed in the last half line (
shall ye now many a wonder know, for example)?
Moreover, the poem has many "strange" rhymes, that do not sound rhyming at all, like "
misery" (strophe 70) and "
afar" (strophe 83). Can someone give me pointers on how to interpret them? Maybe I should look for pronunciation of the corresponding word in Middle English (the author is trying to make the language look archaic)?