The Wanderer

Honoring my intention of putting writings on this Crashpad, fragmentary and otherwise, here is a translation/adaptation of ‘The Wanderer’ I made several years ago. You will see the Anglo Saxon preserved in various places.

So quothe the Earthstepper mindful of hardships
of wrathful bloodslaughter, or family’s, friends falls:
“Oft must I alien the hour before dawn
my care speak. There is no one alive
to whom I dare now openly speak
my inner mind. I know it in soothe,
it is in an eorl very noble strength
that he bind fast his spirit-location,
hold fast his hoard coffers, think as he will.
Forthon doomyearners dreariness oft
in hyra breast coffin bindeth fast:
So must I my heart.
Oft wretched with cares, deprived of home,
far from family, he knows who experiences it
how cruel is sorrow as friend
for him who has no one to share it
Wraeclast holds him, not wunden gold.
He remembers warriors of the hall,
how in his youth his goldwinner
feasted him. Joy has all perished!
This he knows, he who must his wine-lord’s
beloved counsel longly forsake:
When sorrow and sleep same atgether
oft a wretched lone-dweller bindeth,
it seems in his mind that his lord man he
clasps and kisses and lays head and
hands on lap, so he sometime ere
in old days embraced the throne-chief.
When the friendless man awakens after,
sihth before him dark waves.
bathing sea birds and broadening feathers.
falling ice and snow mingled with hail:
then are the heartwounds ever more heavy,
sore after sweet. Sorrow is renewed:
when memory of family pervades his mind,
companions of men—always they swim away.
Forþon I can think not, for all this woruld,
for why mind-soul mine does not grow all-dark,
when I think all around eorls’ lives,
how hy suddenly abandoned the hall-floor,
brave maguþegnas. So, as in this middle-earth
all days, each dreoseð and fealleþ;
forþon ne man can become wise ere he has
passed winters in the woruld-realm: wiseness must be patient,
must not be too hot-hearted nor too quick of word
nor too wac warrior nor too reckless
nor too frightened nor too happy nor too money greedy
nor never too eager to boasting ere he readily has knowledge.
A wise warrior must ongietan how gæslic it will be
when all thisse woruld’s wealth stondeþ wasted,
so now in certain places around þisne Middangeard
wind-blown wealles standeþ,
hrime bihrendered, the buildings snowswept.
The wine halls wear, the walden lyað down,
dream deprived, war band all falled,
proud by the wall. Some war fornom,
fared on forth-way, one a bird bore off
over the high sea, one the hoar wolf
deaðe dælt, one sad faced eorl
gehydde in an earth cave.
So yþde/destroyed this earthworld the creator of ælda/men
until, the burg-wara’s revelry lost,
the ent work of old stood idle.
When he who thinks deeply around this
foundation of stone and deork lif with wise thought,
he who is frod in ferðe of remembers afar
many battle-slaughters ond these words acwið:
“Hwær has gone the mare? Hwær the young warrior? Hwær has gone the maþþumgyfa?
Hwær have gone the feast seats? Hwær are the hall-dreams?
Alas bright cup! Eala byrn warrior!
Eala þeodnes þrym! How the time departs,
darkens under night’s helm, as if she were not!
Eorls fortaken by ash-spears power,
weapons hungry for blood, fame of the wyrd,
ond on this stone cliff cnyssað storms.
Snowstorm, attacking, binds the earth,
winter’s woma, when dark cymeð,
nightshadow grows dark, onsendeð from norðan.

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