Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader/Orpheus and Eurydice

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[From the Alfredian version of the De Consolatione Philosophiae of Boethius. The text represents MS.C (Cotton, Otho A.6); MS. B (Bodl. 180 = NE. C., 3. 11) and Junius's transcript of the same, J (Bodl. Jun. 12), supply variants.]

Hit gelamp gīo ðætte ān hearpere wæs on ðǣre ðīode ðe Ðrācia hātte, sīo wæs on Crēca rīce; sē hearpere wæs swīðe ungefrǣglīce good, ðæs nama wæs Orfeus; hē hæfde ān swīðe ǣnlīc wīf, sīo wæs hāten Eurudice. Ðā ongon mon secgan be ðām hearpere, þæt hē meahte hearpian þæt sē wudu wagode, ond þā stānas hī styredon for þý swēge, ond wildu dīor ðǣr woldon tō irnan ond stondan swilce hī tamu wǣren, swā stille, ðēah him men oððe hundas wið ēoden, ðæt hī hī nā ne onscunedon. Ðā sǣdon hī þæt ðæs hearperes wīf sceolde ācwellan, ond hire sāule mon sceolde lǣdan tō helle. Ðā sceolde sē hearpere weorðan swā sārig, þæt hē ne meahte ongemong ōðrum monnum bīon, ac tēah tō wuda, ond sæt on ðǣm muntum, ǣgðer ge dæges ge nihtes, wēop ond hearpode, ðæt ðā wudas bifedon, on ðā ēa stōdon, ond nān heort ne onscunede nǣnne lēon, nē nān hara nǣnne hund, nēnān nēat nyste nǣnne andan nē nǣnne ege tō ōðrum, for ðǣre mergðe ðæs sōnes. Ðā ðǣm hearpere ðā ðūhte ðæt hine nānes ðinges ne lyste on ðisse worulde, ðā ðōhte hē ðæt hē wolde gesēcan helle godu, ond onginnan him ōleccan mid his hearpan, ond biddan þæt hī him āgēafen eft his wīf. Dā hē ðā ðider cōm, ðā sceolde cuman ðǣre helle hund ongēan hine, þæs nama wæs Ceruerus, sē sceolde habban þrīo hēafdu, ond onfægnian mid his steorte, ond plegian wið hine for his hearpunga. Ðā wæs ðǣr ēac swīðe egeslīc geatweard, ðæs nama sceolde bīon Caron, sē hæfde ēac þrīo hēafdu, ond wæs swīðe oreald. Ðā ongon sē hearpere hine biddan þæt hē hine gemundbyrde ðā hwīle þe hē ðǣr wǣre, ond hine gesundne eft ðonan brōhte. Ðā gehēt hē him ðæt, for ðǣm hē wæs oflyst ðæs seldcūðan sōnes. Ðā ēode hē furðor oð hē gemētte ðā graman gydena ðe folcisce men hātað Parcas, ðā hī secgað ðæt on nānum men nyten nāne ārē, ac ǣleum men wrecen be his gewyrhtum; þā hī secgað ðæt wealden ǣlces mannes wyrde. Ðā ongon hē biddan heora miltse; ðā ongunnon hī wēpan mid him. Ðā ēode hē furðor, ond him urnon ealle hellwaran ongēan, ond lǣddon hine tō hiora cyninge, ond ongunnon ealle sprecan mid him, ond biddan þæs ðe hē bæd. Ond þæt unstille hwēol ðe Ixīon wæs tō gebunden, Leuita cyning, for his scylde, ðæt oðstōd for his hearpunga; ond Tantulus sē eyning, ðe on ðisse worulde ūngemetlīce gīfre wæs, ond him ðǣr ðæt ilce yfel filgde ðǣre gīfernesse, hē gestilde. Ona sē vultor sceolde forlǣtan ðæt hē ne slāt ðā lifre Tyties ðæs cyninges, ðe hine ǣr mid ðȳ wītnode; ond eall hellwara wītu gestildon, þā hwīle þe bē beforan þām cyninge hearpode. Ðā hē ðā longe ond longe hearpode, ðā cleopode sē hellwara cyning, ond cwæð 'Wuton āgifan ðæm esne his wīf, for ðǣm hē hī hæfð geearnad mid his hearpunga.' Bebēad him ðā ðæt hē geare wisse, ðæt [hē] hine nǣfre under bæc ne bisāwe, siððan he ðonanweard wǣre, ond sǣde, gif hē hine under bæc besāwe, ðæt hē sceolde forlǣtan ðæt wīf. Ac ðā lufe mon mæg swīðe unēaðe oððe nā forbēodan: wēi lā wēi! hwæt Orpheus ðā lǣdde his wīf mid him, oð ðe hē cōm on þæt gemǣre lēohtes ond ðīostro ðā ēode þæt wīf æfter him. Ðā hē forð on ðæt lēoht cōm, ðā beseah hē hine under bæc wið ðæs wīfes: ðā losade hīo him sōna. Ðās lēasan spell lǣrað gehwylcne mon ðāra ðe wilnaðā helle ðīostro tō flīonne, ond tō ðæs sōðan Godes līohte tō cumanne, ðæt hē hine ne besīo tō his ealdum yflum, swā ðæt hē hī eft swā fullīce fullfremme swā hē hī ǣr dyde; for ðǣm swā hwā swā mid fulle willan his mōd went tō ðæm yflum ðe hē ǣr forlēt, ond hī ðonne fullfremeð, ond hī him ðonne fullīce līciað, and hē hī nǣfre forlǣtan ne þenceð, ðonne forlȳst hē eall his ǣrran good, būton bē hit eft gebēte.