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Oft him anhaga     are gebideð,
metudes miltse,     þeah þe he modcearig
geond lagulade     longe sceolde
4 hreran mid hondum     hrimcealde sæ
wadan wræclastas.     Wyrd bið ful aræd!

Swa cwæð eardstapa,     earfeþa gemyndig,
wraþra wælsleahta,     winemæga hryre:

8 Oft ic sceolde ana     uhtna gehwylce
mine ceare cwiþan.     Nis nu cwicra nan
þe ic him modsefan     minne durre
sweotule asecgan.     Ic to soþe wat
12þæt biþ in eorle     indryhten þeaw,
þæt he his ferðlocan     fæste binde,
healde his hordcofan,     hycge swa he wille.
Ne mæg werig mod     wyrde wiðstondan,
16ne se hreo hyge     helpe gefremman.
Forðon domgeorne     dreorigne oft
in hyra breostcofan     bindað fæste;
swa ic modsefan     minne sceolde,
20 oft earmcearig,     eðle bidæled,
freomægum feor     feterum sælan,
siþþan geara iu     goldwine minne
hrusan heolstre biwrah,     ond ic hean þonan
24wod wintercearig     ofer waþema gebind,
sohte seledreorig     sinces bryttan,
hwær ic feor oþþe neah     findan meahte
þone þe in meoduhealle     mine wisse,
28 oþþe mec freondleasne     frefran wolde,
wenian mid wynnum.     Wat se þe cunnað
hu sliþen bið     sorg to geferan
þam þe him lyt hafað     leofra geholena:
32warað hine wræclast,     nales wunden gold,
ferðloca freorig,     nalæs foldan blæd.
Gemon he selesecgas     ond sincþege,
hu hine on geoguðe     his goldwine
36 wenede to wiste.     Wyn eal gedreas!

Forþon wat se þe sceal     his winedryhtnes
leofes larcwidum     longe forþolian:
ðonne sorg ond slæð     somod ætgædre
40 earmne anhogan     oft gebindað.
þinceð him on mode     þæt he his mondryhten
clyppe ond cysse,     ond on cneo lecge
honda ond heafod,     swa he hwilum ær
44in geardagum     giefstolas breac.
Ðonne onwæcneð eft     wineleas guma,
gesihð him biforan     fealwe wegas,
baþian brimfuglas,     brædan feþra,
48hreosan hrim ond snaw     hagle gemenged.

Þonne beoð þy hefigran     heortan benne,
sare æfter swæsne.     Sorg bið geniwad
þonne maga gemynd     mod geondhweorfeð;
52greteð gliwstafum,     georne geondsceawað
secga geseldan;     swimmað oft on weg
fleotendra ferð     no þær fela bringeð
cuðra cwidegiedda.     Cearo bið geniwad
56þam þe sendan sceal     swiþe geneahhe
ofer waþema gebind     werigne sefan.

Forþon ic geþencan ne mæg     geond þas woruld
for hwan modsefa     min ne gesweorce
60 þonne ic eorla lif     eal geondþence,
hu hi færlice     flet ofgeafon,
modge maguþegnas.     Swa þes middangeard
ealra dogra gehwam     dreoseð ond fealleð;
64 forþon ne mæg weorþan wis     wer, ær he age
wintra dæl in woruldrice.     Wita sceal geþyldig,
ne sceal no to hatheort     ne to hrædwyrde,
ne to wac wiga     ne to wanhydig,
68ne to forht ne to fægen,     ne to feohgifre
ne næfre gielpes to georn,     ær he geare cunne.
Beorn sceal gebidan,     þonne he beot spriceð,
oþþæt collenferð     cunne gearwe
72hwider hreþra gehygd     hweorfan wille.
Ongietan sceal gleaw hæle     hu gæstlic bið,
þonne ealre þisse worulde wela     weste stondeð,
swa nu missenlice     geond þisne middangeard
76 winde biwaune     weallas stondaþ,
hrime bihrorene,     hryðge þa ederas.
Woriað þa winsalo,     waldend licgað
dreame bidrorene,     duguþ eal gecrong,
80wlonc bi wealle.     Sume wig fornom,
ferede in forðwege,     sumne fugel oþbær
ofer heanne holm,     sumne se hara wulf
deaðe gedælde,     sumne dreorighleor
84 in eorðscræfe     eorl gehydde.
Yþde swa þisne eardgeard     ælda scyppend
oþþæt burgwara     breahtma lease
eald enta geweorc     idlu stodon.

88Se þonne þisne wealsteal     wise geþohte
ond þis deorce lif     deope geondþenceð,
frod in ferðe,     feor oft gemon
wælsleahta worn,     ond þas word acwið:

92Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago? [#]     Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa?
Hwær cwom symbla gesetu?     Hwær sindon seledreamas?
Eala beorht bune!     Eala byrnwiga!
Eala þeodnes þrym!     Hu seo þrag gewat,
96genap under nihthelm,     swa heo no wære.
Stondeð nu on laste     leofre duguþe
weal wundrum heah,     wyrmlicum fah.
Eorlas fornoman     asca þryþe,
100wæpen wælgifru,     wyrd seo mære,
ond þas stanhleoþu     stormas cnyssað,
hrið hreosende     hrusan bindeð,
wintres woma,     þonne won cymeð,
104nipeð nihtscua,     norþan onsendeð
hreo hæglfare     hæleþum on andan.
Eall is earfoðlic     eorþan rice,
onwendeð wyrda gesceaft     weoruld under heofonum.
108Her bið feoh læne,     her bið freond læne,
her bið mon læne,     her bið mæg læne,
eal þis eorþan gesteal     idel weorþeð!

Swa cwæð snottor on mode,     gesæt him sundor æt rune.
112Til biþ se þe his treowe gehealdeþ,     ne sceal næfre his torn to rycene
beorn of his breostum acyþan,     nemþe he ær þa bote cunne,
eorl mid elne gefremman.     Wel bið þam þe him are seceð,
frofre to Fæder on heofonum,     þær us eal seo fæstnung stondeð.

Notes

line 92a: In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, in chapter six of The Two Towers, Aragorn sings a song of Rohan (itself a version of Anglo-Saxon England), beginning "Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?". The song clearly comes from this section of The Wanderer. (A more strictly literal translation of "mago" would be "youth", hence "Where is the horse gone? Where the young man?" -- but since the horse and the youth appear in the same half-line, Tolkien's rendering "rider" is very hard to resist.) [ Back to text ]