Deor

Weland experienced torment by the wyrms upon him,
a single-minded man, enduring miseries—
he had as his companions sorrow and longing,
winter-cold misery. He often suffered woe
after Nithhad laid him into constraint,
supple sinew-bindings upon an excellent man.

     That passed over, so can this—

Beadohilde never was so pained upon
her brother’s death as about her own situation:
she had perceived readily that she was pregnant—
She never could boldly consider
what she must do about it.

     That passed over, so can this —

Many of us have learned about Mæthhild:
the affection of the Geat was without bottom.
so that the sorrowing love deprived them both of sleep.

     That passed over, so can this —

Theodric possessed for thirty winters
the city of the Mæringas. That was known by many!

     That passed over, so can this —

We have learned of the wolf-like mind
of Eormanric—he possessed rule widely
over the people of the Gothic realm.
That was a grim king. Many men sat
bound up by sorrows, expecting their woe—
often they wished that his kingdom
would be vanquished.

     That passed over, so can this —

A sorrow-anxious man sits, deprived of his joys,
growing dark inside him, thinking to himself
that his portion of hardship seem endless.
He can ponder then that throughout this world
the wise Lord often changes things—
to many earls he shows his grace
and true profits, to some their share of woe.

I wish to speak that about myself:
that one time I was the poet of the Heodeningas,
dear to my lord. My name was Deor.
I possessed for many winters this good office,
loyal to my lord, until now Heorrenda,
a man skilled in verse, received my land-rights,
which before the shelter of earls had given to me.

     That passed over, so can this —

 

 

Wulf and Eadwacer

As if someone had given a gift to my people—
they would devour him if he came with a company.
            It is not like that with us.

Wulf is on one island, I am on another.
Strong is that island, surrounded by swamps.
Slaughter-fierce men are there on that island—
they would devour him if he came with a company.
            It is not like that with us.

I thought hopefully about my Wulf’s wide wanderings
when there was rainy weather and I sat lamenting,
when the battle-bold wrapped me up in his arms,
it was a delight to me, but it was hateful as well.

Wulf, my Wulf! My hopes for you
have made me sick, your seldom visits—
a mourning mind, not all a want of meat.

Do you hear me, Eadwacer? Wulf bears
our wretched whelp into the woods.

One can easily break apart what was never united,
            our riddle together.

 

Durham

Is this city famous throughout Britain’s realm,
of many steps founded, the stones without
wondrously have waxed. The Wear flows around it,
a river strong of wave, and therein dwell
myriad kind of fishes, mingled in the flood.
And there is grown up within a great wood-fastness
where dwell within the city many wild beasts—
in the deep dales deer innumerable.

Also in that city there is well-known among her sons,
the mercy-fast, the blessed Cuthberg, and the head of the pure king,
Oswald, Lion of the English,* and Bishop Aidan,
Eadberh and Eadfrith, worthy companions.
There is among them, Aethelwold the bishop
and the famous scholar Bede, and Basil the abbot,
that taught the virginal Cuthbert in his youth fervently,
and Cuthbert took well to his lessons —

There dwells among the blessed in that minster also
           relics uncountable,
where many are worthied, just as the Book says to do —
in their company a man of God can await his glory.

* Could also be “shelter (hleo) of the English,” which is a variation on a fairly common epithet formula.

 

The Partridge

I have heard told moreover
about a certain bird
wonderful…

… fair,

that word which the Prince of Glory spoke:

“In any season, so you all turn towards me
in troth within your minds,
and you all yield to dark hellish crimes,
so I always turn back to you at once
with peaceful love, through a mild spirit.
You all are reckoned and counted
among the brightly glory-blessed afterwards,
blazing brethren in the place of children.”

Let us be soothing to God more eagerly,
despising foul deeds, laboring towards peace,
the multitude to the Lord, as long as day may shine for us,
so that the most noble of dwellings
be allowed to abide in the brightness of glory.

Finit

 

 

Almsgiving

It will be well for that earl who keeps inside himself,
the right-thinking man, a roomy heart —
so that the most of honorable intentions
will be the greatest glory for the world
and for our Lord. Even so this man extinguishes
the flame with the welling waters,
so that he cannot for long be injured
in the cities with the burning brightness
so he with almsdeeds shoves away entirely
the wounds of sinfulness, healing the soul.

 

 

Pharaoh

“Say to me what was the entirety of the soldiers
in Pharaoh’s army, which they began to follow
the folk of God through their enmity…”

“I know it not in any way, except I believe thus,
that there were six hundred chariots,
counted by number, each bearing armor-havers—

that were all seized by the waves,
the wrathful event in this worldly realm.”

 

 

The Lord’s Prayer I (The Exeter Book)

Holy Father, you who abide in the heavens,
worthied in the joys of glory. May your name be hallowed
by your works among the children of humanity—
You are the savior of men. Your wide kingdom comes,
your will be counsel-fast, reared under the roof of the sky,
as it also is upon the spacious earth.
Give us today profits bound in judgment,
our own loaves, Helper of Men,
everlasting, truth-fast Measurer.
Nor let us be vexed by temptation too greatly,
yet give us our liberty, Sovereign of Peoples,
from every sort of evil, to the very width of life.

 

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