Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader/The Wanderer

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For works with similar titles, see The Wanderer.

XXIII.

THE WANDERER

[Preserved in the Exeter MS.]

Oft him ānhaga  āre gebīdeð,
Metudes miltse,  þēah þe he mōdcearig
geond lagulāde  longe sceolde
hrēran mid hǫndum  hrīmcealde sǣ,
5wadan wræclāstas:  wyrd bið ful ārǣd! [5]
Swā cwæð eardstapa,  earfeþa gemyndig,
wrāþra wælsleahta,  winemǣga hryre:
‘Oft ic sceolde āna  ūhtna gehwylce
mīne ceare cwīþan;  nis nū cwicra nān,
10þe ic him mōdsefan  mīnne durre [10]
sweotule āsęcgan.  Ic tō sōþe wāt
þæt biþ in eorle  indryhten þēaw,
þæt hē his ferðlocan  fæste binde,
healde[1] his hordcofan,  hycge swā hē wille;
15ne mæg wērig mōd  wyrde wiðstǫndan [15]
nē sē hrēo hyge  helpe gefręmman:
for ðon dōmgeorne  drēorigne oft
in hyra brēostcofan  bindað fæste.
Swā ic mōdsefan  mīnne sceolde,
20oft earmcearig,  ēðle bidǣled, [20]
frēomǣgum feor  feterum sǣlan,
siþþan gēara iū  goldwine mīnne[2]
hrūsan heolster[3] biwrāh,  and ic hēan þǫnan
wōd wintercearig  ofer waþema[4] gebind,
sōhte sęle drēorig  sinces bryttan, [25]
hwǣr ic feor oþþe nēah  findan meahte
þone þe in meoduhealle  minne[5] wisse
5oþþe mec frēondlēasne[6]   frēfran wolde,
węnian mid wynnum.  Wāt sā þe cunnað
hū slīþen bið  sorg tō gefēran [30]
þām þe him lȳt hafað  lēofra geholena:
warað hine wræclāst,  nāles wunden gold,
10ferðloca frēorig,  nālæs foldan blǣd;
gemǫn hē sęlesęcgas  and sincþęge,
hū hine on geoguðe  his goldwine [35]
węnede tō wiste:  wyn eal gedrēas!
For þon wāt sē þe sceal  his winedryhtnes
15lēofes lārcwidum  lǫnge forþolian,
ðonne sorg and slǣp  sǫmod ætgædre
earmne ānhagan[7]  oft gebindað: [40]
þinceð him on mōde  þæt hā his mǫndryhten
clyppe and cysse,  and on cnēo lęcge[8]
20hǫnda and hēafod,  swā hē hwīlum ǣr
in gēardagum  giefstōlas brēac;
ðonne onwæcneð eft  winelēas guma, [45]
gesihð him biforan  fealwe wægas,[9]
baþian brimfuglas,  brǣdan feþra,
25hrēosan hrīm and snāw  hagle gemęnged.
Þonne bēoð þȳ hęfigran  heortan bęnne,
sāre æfter swǣsne,  sorg bið genīwad, [50]
þonne māga gemynd  mōd geondhweorfeð,
grēteð glīwstafum,  georne geondscēawað
30sęcga geseldan:  swimmað eft[10] on weg;
flēotendra ferð  no þǣr fela bringeð
cūðra cwidegiedda;  cearo bið genīwad [55]
þām þe sęndan sceal  swīþe geneahhe
ofer waþema gebind  wērigne sefan.
5For þon ic geþęncan ne mæg  geond þās woruld
for hwan mōdsefa  min[11] ne gesweorce,
þonne ic eorla līf  eal geondþęnce, [60]
hū hī fǣrlīce  flęt ofgēafon,
mōdge maguþegnas.  Swā þēs middangeard
10ealra dōgra gehwām  drēoseð and fealleþ;
for þon ne mæg weorþan[12] wīs  wer, ǣr hā āge
wintra dǣl in woruldrīce.  Wita sceal geþyldig, [65]
nē sceal nō tō hātheort  nē tō hrædwyrde,
nē tō wāc wiga  nē tō wanhȳdig,
15nē tō forht nē tō fægen  nē tō feohgīfre,
nē nǣfre gielpes tō georn,  ǣr hē geare cunne.
Beorn sceal gebīdan,  þonne hē bēot spriceð, [70]
oþ þæt collenferð  cunne gearwe
hwider hreþra gehygd  hweorfan wille.
20Ongietan sceal glēaw hæle  hū gæstlīc bið,
þonne eall[13] þisse worulde wela  wēste stǫndeð,
swā nū missenlīce  geond þisne middangeard [75]
winde biwāune  weallas stǫndaþ,
hrīme bihrorene,  hryðge þā ederas.
25Wōriað þā wīnsalo,  waldend licgað
drēame bidrorene;  duguð eal gecrǫng
wlǫnc bī wealle:  sume wīg fornōm,  [80]
fęrede in forðwege;  sumne fugel oþbær
ofer hēanne holm;  sumne sē hāra wulf
30dēaðe gedǣlde;  sumne drēorighlēor
in eorðscræfe  eorl gehȳdde:
ȳþde[14] swā þisne eardgeard  ælda Scyppend, [85]
oþ þæt burgwara  breahtma lēase
eald ęnta geweorc  īdlu stōdon.
Sē þonne þisne wealsteal  wīse, geþōhte,
5and þis deorce[15] līf  dēope geondþęnceð,
frōd in ferðe  feor oft gemǫn [90]
wælsleahta worn,  and þās word ācwið:
‘Hwǣr cwōm mearg? hwǣr cwōm mago?  hwǣr cwōm māþþumgyfa?
hwǣr cwōm symbla gesetu?  hwǣr sindon sęledrēamas?
10Ēalā beorht bune!  ēalā byrnwiga!
ēalā þēodnes þrym  hū sēo þrāg gewāt, [95]
genāp under nihthelm,  swā hēo nō wǣre!
Stǫndeð nū on lāste  lēofre duguþe
weal wundrum hēah,  wyrmlīcum fāh:
15eorlas fornōmon[16]  asca þrȳþe,
wǣpen wælgīfru,  wyrd sēo mǣre; [100]
and þās stānhleoþu  stormas cnyssað;
hrīð hrēosende  hrūsan[17] bindeð,
wintres wōma,  þonne wǫn cymeð,
20nīpeð nihtscūa,  norþan onsęndeð
hrēo hæglfare  hæleþum on andan. [105]
Eall is earfoðlīc  eorþan rīce,
onwęndeð wyrda gesceaft  weoruld under heofonum:
hēr bið feoh lǣne,  hēr bið frēond lǣne,
25hēr bið mǫn lǣne,  hēr bið mǣg lǣne;
eal þis eorþan gesteal  īdel weorþeð!’ [110]
Swā cwæð snottor on mōde,  gesæt him sundor æt rūne
Til biþ sē þe his trēowe gehealdeð:  ne sceal nǣfre his torn tō rycene
beorn of his brēostum ācȳþan,  nemþe hē ǣr þā bōte cunne,
eorl mid ęlne gefręmman.  Wel bið þām þe him āre sēceð,
frōfre tō Fæder on heofonum,  þǣr ūs eal sēo fæstnung stǫndeð. [115]

  1. healdne
  2. mine
  3. heolstre
  4. waþena.
  5. mine; Thorpe.
  6. -lease.
  7. anhogan.
  8. læge.
  9. wegas.
  10. oft.
  11. mod sefan minne.
  12. wearþan.
  13. ealle.
  14. yþðe.
  15. deorcne.
  16. fornoman.
  17. hruse.