The Rhyming Poem

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The Rhyming Poem (10th century) 
Anonymous

Me līfes onlāh  se þis lēoht onwrāh,
ond þæt torhte getēoh,  tillīce onwrāh.
Glæd wæs ic glīwum,  glenged hīwum,
blissa blēoum,  blōstma hīwum.
Secgas mec sēgon,  symbel ne alēgon,
feorhgiefe gefēgon;  frætwed wǣgon
wicg ofer wongum  wennan gongum,
lisse mid longum  lēoma gehongum.
Þā wæs wæstmum aweaht,  world onspreht,
under roderum areaht,  rǣdmægne oferþeaht.
Giestas gengdon,  gērscype mengdon,
lisse lengdon,  lustum glengdon.
Scrifen scrād glād  þurh gescād in brād,
wæs on lagustrēame lād,  þǣr me leoþu ne biglād.
Hæfde ic hēanne hād,  ne wæs me in healle gād,
þæt þǣr rōf weord rād.  Oft þǣr rinc gebād,
þæt hē in sele sǣge  sincgewǣge,
þegnum geþyhte.  Þenden wæs me mægen,
horsce mec heredon,  hilde generedon,
fægre feredon,  feondon biweredon.
Swā mec hyhtgiefu heold,  hygedryht befeold,
staþol ǣhtum steald,  stepegongum wēold
swylce eorþe ōl,  āhte ic ealdorstōl,
galdorwordum gōl.  Gomel sibbe ne ofōll,
āc wæs gefest gēar,  gellende snēr,
wuniendo wǣr  wilbec bescǣr.
Scealcas wǣron scearpe,  scyl wæs hearpe,
hlūde hlynede,  hlēoþor dynede,
sweglrād swinsade,  swīþe ne minsade.
Burgsele beofode,  beorht hlifade,
ellen ēacnade,  ēad bēacnade,
frēaum frōdade,  fromum gōdade,
mōd mægnade,  mine fægnade,
trēow telgade,  tīr welgade,
blæd blissade,  
gold gearwade,  gim hwearfade,
sinc searwade,  sib nearwade.
From ic wæs in frætwum,  frēolic in geatwum;
wæs mīn drēam dryhtlic,  drohtað hyhtlic.
Foldan ic freoþode,  folcum ic lēoþode,
līf wæs mīn longe,  lēodum ingemonge,
tīrum getonge,  teala gehonge.
Nū mīn hreþer is hrēoh,  hēofsīþum scēoh,
nȳdbysgum nēah;  gewīteð nihtes in flēah
se ǣr in dæge wæs dȳre.  Scrīþeð nū dēop in fēore
brondhord geblōwen,  brēostum in forgrōwen,
flyhtum tōflōwen.  Flāh is geblōwen
miclum in gemynde;  mōdes gecynde
grēteð ungrynde  grorn efen wynde,
bealofūs byrneð,  bittre tōyrneð.
Werig winneð,  wīdsīð onginneð,
sār ne sinniþ,  sorgum cinnið,
blæd his blinnið,  blisse linnið,
listum linneð,  lustum ne tinneð.
Dreamas swa her gedreosað,  dryhtscype gehreosað,
lif her men forleosað,  leahtras oft geceosað;
treowþrag is to trag,  seo untrume genag,
steapum eatole misþah,  ond eal stund genag.
Swa nu world wendeþ,  wyrde sendeþ,
ond hetes henteð,  hæleþe scyndeð.
Wercyn gewiteð,  wælgar sliteð,
flahmah fliteþ,  flan mon hwiteð,
borgsorg biteð,  bald ald þwiteþ,
wræcfæc wriþað,  wraþ að smiteþ,
singryn sidað,  searofearo glideþ,
gromtorn græfeþ,  græft hafað,
searohwit solaþ,  sumurhat colað,
foldwela fealleð,  feondscipe wealleð,
eorðmægen ealdaþ,  ellen colað.
Me þæt wyrd gewæf,  ond gewyrht forgeaf,
þæt ic grofe græf,  ond þæt grimme græf
flean flæsce ne mæg,  þonne flanhred dæg
nydgrapum nimeþ,  þonne seo neaht becymeð
seo me eðles ofonn  ond mec her eardes onconn.
Þonne lichoma ligeð,  lima wyrm friteþ,
ac him wenne gewigeð  ond þa wist geþygeð,
oþþæt beoþ þa ban  an,
ond æt nyhstan nan  nefne se neda tan
balawun her gehloten.  Ne biþ se hlisa adroren.
Ær þæt eadig geþenceð,  he hine þe oftor swenceð,
byrgeð him þa bitran synne,  hogaþ to þære betran wynne,
gemon morþa lisse,  þær sindon miltsa blisse
hyhtlice in heofona rice.  Uton nu halgum gelice
scyldum biscyrede  scyndan generede,
wommum biwerede,  wuldre generede,
þær moncyn mot  for meotude rot
soðne god geseon,  ond aa in sibbe gefean.


This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.