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Mæg ic be me sylfumI can make a true song
soðgied wrecan, about me myself,
siþas secgan,tell my travels,
hu ic geswincdagumhow I often endured
earfoðhwile days of struggle,
oft þrowade, troublesome times,
4a bitre breostceare [how I] have suffered
gebiden hæbbe, grim sorrow at heart,
gecunnad in ceolehave known in the ship
cearselda fela,many worries [abodes of care],
atol yþa gewealc,the terrible tossing of the waves,
þær mec oft bigeatwhere the anxious night watch
nearo nihtwaco often took me
æt nacan stefnan,at the ship's prow,
8aþonne he be clifum cnossað.when it tossed near the cliffs.
Calde geþrungenFettered by cold
wæron mine fet,were my feet,
forste gebundenbound by frost
caldum clommum,in cold clasps,
þær þa ceare seofedunwhere then cares seethed
hat ymb heortan;hot about my heart --
hungor innan slata hunger tears from within
12amerewerges mod.the sea-weary soul.
Þæt se mon ne watThis the man does not know
þe him on foldanfor whom on land
fægrost limpeð,it turns out most favourably,
hu ic earmcearighow I, wretched and sorrowful,
iscealdne sæon the ice-cold sea
winter wunadedwelt for a winter
wræccan lastum,in the paths of exile,
16awinemægum bidroren,bereft of friendly kinsmen,
bihongen hrimgicelum;hung about with icicles;
hægl scurum fleag.hail flew in showers.
þær ic ne gehyrdeThere I heard nothing
butan hlimman sæ,but the roaring sea,
iscaldne wæg.the ice-cold wave.
Hwilum ylfete songAt times the swan's song
20adyde ic me to gomene,I took to myself as pleasure,
ganotes hleoþorthe gannet's noise
ond huilpan swegand the voice of the curlew
fore hleahtor wera,instead of the laughter of men,
mæw singendethe singing gull
fore medodrince.instead of the drinking of mead.
Stormas þær stanclifu beotan,Storms there beat the stony cliffs,
þær him stearn oncwæð,where the tern spoke,
ful oft þæt earn bigeal,always the eagle cried at it,
nænig hleomægano cheerful kinsmen
feasceaftig ferð can comfort
frefran meahte. the poor soul.
Forþon him gelyfeð lyt,Indeed he credits it little,
se þe ah lifes wynthe one who has the joys of life,
28agebiden in burgum,dwells in the city,
bealosiþa hwon,far from terrible journey,
wlonc ond wingal,proud and wanton with wine,
hu ic werig ofthow I, weary, often
in brimlade have had to endure
bidan sceolde. in the sea-paths.
Nap nihtscua,The shadows of night darkened,
norþan sniwde,it snowed from the north,
32ahrim hrusan bond,frost bound the ground,
hægl feol on eorþan,hail fell on the earth,
corna caldast.coldest of grains.
Forþon cnyssað nuIndeed, now they are troubled,
heortan geþohtasthe thoughts of my heart,
þæt ic hean streamas,that I myself should strive with
sealtyþa gelac the high streams,
sylf cunnige -- the tossing of salt waves --
36amonað modes lustthe wish of my heart urges
mæla gehwylceall the time
ferð to feran,my spirit to go forth,
þæt ic feor heonanthat I, far from here,
elþeodigra should seek the homeland
eard gesece -- of a foreign people --
Forþon nis þæs modwloncIndeed there is not so proud-spirited
mon ofer eorþan,a man in the world,
40ane his gifena þæs god,nor so generous of gifts,
ne in geoguþe to þæs hwæt,nor so bold in his youth,
ne in his dædum to þæs deor,nor so brave in his deeds,
ne him his dryhten to þæs hold,nor so dear to his lord,
þæt he a his sæforethat he never in his seafaring
sorge næbbe,has a worry,
to hwon hine Dryhtenas to what his Lord
gedon wille.will do to him.
44aNe biþ him to hearpan hygeNot for him is the sound of the harp
ne to hringþegenor the giving of rings
ne to wife wynnor pleasure in woman
ne to worulde hyhtnor worldly glory --
ne ymbe owiht ellesnor anything at all
nefne ymb yða gewealc;unless the tossing of waves;
ac a hafað longungebut he always has a longing,
se þe on lagu fundað.he who strives on the waves.
48aBearwas blostmum nimað,Groves take on blossoms,
byrig fægriað,the cities grow fair,
wongas wlitigað,the fields are comely,
woruld onetteð:the world seems new:
ealle þa gemoniaðall these things urge on
modes fusnethe eager of spirit,
sefan to siþethe mind to travel,
þam þe swa þenceðin one who so thinks
52a on flodwegas to travel far
feor gewitan. on the paths of the sea.
Swylce geac monaðSo the cuckoo warns
geomran reorde;with a sad voice;
singeð sumeres weard,the guardian of summer sings,
sorge beodeðbodes a sorrow
bitter in breosthord.grievous in the soul.
Þæt se beorn ne wat,This the man does not know,
56asefteadig secg,the warrior lucky in worldly things
hwæt þa sume dreogaðwhat some endure then,
þe þa wræclastasthose who tread most widely
widost lecgað. the paths of exile.
Forþon nu min hyge hweorfeðAnd now my spirit twists
ofer hreþerlocan,out of my breast,
min modsefamy spirit
mid mereflode,out in the waterways,
60aofer hwæles eþelover the whale's path
hweorfeð wide,it soars widely
eorþan sceatas --through all the corners of the world --
cymeð eft to meit comes back to me
gifre ond grædig;eager and unsated;
gielleð anfloga,the lone-flier screams,
hweteð on hwælwegurges onto the whale-road
hreþer unwearnumthe unresisting heart
64aofer holma gelagu.across the waves of the sea.
Forþon me hatran sindIndeed hotter for me are
Dryhtnes dreamasthe joys of the Lord
þonne þis deade lifthan this dead life
læne on londe.fleeting on the land.
Ic gelyfe noI do not believe
þæt him eorðwelanthat the riches of the world
ece stondað.will stand forever.
68aSimle þreora sumAlways and invariably,
þinga gehwylce one of three things
ær his tiddege will turn to uncertainty
to tweon weorþeð: before his fated hour:
adl oþþe yldodisease, or old age,
oþþe ecgheteor the sword's hatred
fægum fromweardum will tear out the life
feorh oðþringeð. from those doomed to die.
72aForþon biþ eorla gehwamAnd so it is for each man
æftercweþendra the praise of the living,
lof lifgendra of those who speak afterwards,
lastworda betst,that is the best epitaph,
þæt he gewyrce,that he should work
ær he on weg scyle,before he must be gone
fremum on foldanbravery in the world
wið feonda niþ,against the enmity of devils,
76adeorum dædumdaring deeds
deofle togeanes,against the fiend,
þæt hine ælda bearnso that the sons of men
æfter hergen,will praise him afterwards,
ond his lof siþþanand his fame afterwards
lifge mid englumwill live with the angels
awa to ealdre,for ever and ever,
ecan lifes blæd,the glory of eternal life,
80adream mid dugeþ with the Hosts.
Dagas sind gewitene,The days are gone
ealle onmedlanof all the glory
eorþan rices;of the kingdoms of the earth;
nearon nu cyningasthere are not now kings,
ne caserasnor Cæsars,
ne goldgiefannor givers of gold
swylce iu wæron,as once there were,
84aþonne hi mæst mid himwhen they, the greatest, among themselves
mærþa gefremedonperformed valorous deeds,
ond on dryhtlicestumand with a most lordly
dome lifdon.majesty lived.
Gedroren is þeos duguð eal,All that old guard is gone
dreamas sind gewitene;and the revels are over --
wuniað þa wacranthe weaker ones now dwell
ond þæs woruld healdaþ,and hold the world,
88abrucað þurh bisgo.enjoy it through their sweat.
Blæd is gehnæged,The glory is fled,
eorþan indryhtothe nobility of the world
ealdað ond searað,ages and grows sere,
swa nu monna gehwylcas now does every man
geond middangeard.throughout the world.
Yldo him on fareþ,Age comes upon him,
onsyn blacað,his face grows pale,
92agomelfeax gnornað,the graybeard laments;
wat his iuwine,he knows that his old friends,
æþelinga bearnthe sons of princes,
eorþan forgiefene.have been given to the earth.
Ne mæg him þonne se flæschomaHis body fails then,
þonne him þæt feorg losaðas life leaves him --
ne swete forswelganhe cannot taste sweetness
ne sar gefelannor feel pain,
96ane hond onhrerannor move his hand
ne mid hyge þencan.nor think with his head.
Þeah þe græf willeThough he would strew
golde stregan the grave with gold,
broþor his geborenum,a brother for his kinsman,
byrgan be deadumbury with the dead
maþmum mislicum,a mass of treasure,
þæt hine mid wille,it just won't work --
100ane mæg þære sawlenor can the soul
þe biþ synna fulwhich is full of sin
gold to geocepreserve the gold
for Godes egsan,before the fear of God,
þonne he hit ær hydeðthough he hid it before
þenden he her leofað.while he was yet alive.
Micel biþ se Meotudes egsa,Great is the fear of the Lord,
forþon hi seo molde oncyrreð;before which the world stands still;
104ase gestaþeladeHe established
stiþe grundas,the firm foundations,
eorþan sceatasthe corners of the world
ond uprodor.and the high heavens.
Dol biþ se þe him his Dryhten ne ondrædeþ:A fool is the one who does not fear his Lord
cymeð him se deað unþinged.-- death comes to him unprepared.
Eadig bið se þe eaþmod leofaþ;Blessed is he who lives humbly
cymeð him seo ar of heofonum.-- to him comes forgiveness from heaven.
108aMeotod him þæt mod gestaþelað,God set that spirit within him,
forþon he in his meahte gelyfeð.because he believed in His might.
Stieran mon sceal strongum mode,Man must control his passions
ond þæt on staþelum healdan,and keep everything in balance,
ond gewis werum,keep faith with men,
wisum clæne.and be pure in wisdom.
Scyle monna gehwylcEach of men must
mid gemete healdanbe even-handed
112awiþ leofne ond wið laþnewith their friends and their foes.
* * * bealo.?
þeah þe he hine wille? though he does not wish him
fyres fulne? in the foulness of flames
oþþe on bæle? or on a pyre
forbærnedne? to be burned
his geworhtne wine,? his contrived friend,
Wyrd biþ swiþre,Fate is greater
116aMeotud meahtigra,and God is mightier
þonne ænges monnes gehygd.than any man's thought.
Uton we hycganLet us ponder
hwær we ham agen,where we have our homes
ond þonne geþencanand then think
hu we þider cumen;how we should get thither --
ond we þonne eac tilienand then we should all strive
þæt we to motenthat we might go there
120ain þa ecanto the eternal
þær is lif gelongthat is a belonging life
in lufan Dryhtnes,in the love of the Lord,
hyht in in the heavens.
Þæs sy þam Halgan þoncLet there be thanks to God
þæt he usic geweorþade,that he adored us,
wuldres Ealdorthe Father of Glory,
124aece Dryhten,the Eternal Lord,
in ealle tid. Amen.for all time. Amen.