The Dream of the Rood

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Hwæt! Ic swefna cystsecgan wylle,
hwæt[1] mē gemǣttetō midre nihte,
syðþan reordberendreste wunedon.
Þūhte mē þæt ic gesāwesyllicre trēow
on lyft lǣdan,lēohte bewunden, 5
bēama beorhtost.Eall þæt bēacen wæs
begoten mid golde;gimmas stōdon
fægere æt foldan scēatum,swylce þǣr fīfe wǣron
uppe on þām eaxlgespanne[2].Behēoldon þǣr engel dryhtnes ealle
fægere þurh forðgesceaft;ne wæs ðǣr hūru fracodes gealga, 10
ac hine þǣr behēoldonhālige gāstas,
men ofer moldan,ond eall þēos mǣre gesceaft.

Syllic wæs se sigebēam,ond ic synnum fāh,
forwundod mid wommum.Geseah ic wuldres trēow,
wǣdum geweorðode,wynnum scīnan, 15
gegyred mid golde;gimmas hæfdon
bewrigene weorðlīceWealdendes[3] trēow.
Hwæðre ic þurh þæt goldongytan meahte
earmra ǣrgewin,þæt hit ǣrest ongan
swǣtan on þā swīðran healfe.Eall ic wæs mid sorgum[4] gedrēfed, 20
forht ic wæs for þǣre fægran gesyhðe.Geseah ic þæt fūse bēacen
wendan wǣdum ond blēom;hwīlum hit wæs mid wǣtan bestēmed,
beswyled mid swātes gange,hwīlum mid since gegyrwed.

Hwæðre ic þǣr licgendelange hwīle
behēold hrēowcearigHǣlendes trēow, 25
oð ðæt ic gehȳrdeþæt hit hlēoðrode;
ongan þā word sprecanwudu sēlesta:
"Þæt wæs gēara iū,– ic þæt gȳta geman –
þæt ic wæs āhēawenholtes on ende,
āstyred of stefne mīnum.Genāman mē ðǣr strange fēondas, 30
geworhton him þǣr tō wǣfersȳne,hēton mē heora wergas hebban;
bǣron mē ðǣr beornas on eaxlum,oð ðæt hīe mē on beorg āsetton,
gefæstnodon mē þǣr fēondas genōge.Geseah ic þā Frēan mancynnes
efstan elne micle,þæt hē mē wolde on gestīgan.
Þǣr ic þā ne dorsteofer Dryhtnes word 35
būgan oððe berstan,þā ic bifian geseah
eorðan scēatas.Ealle ic mihte
fēondas gefyllan,hwæðre ic fæste stōd.
Ongyrede hine þā geong hæleð,– þæt wæs God ælmihtig! –
strang ond stīðmōd.Gestāh hē on gealgan hēanne, 40
mōdig on manigra gesyhðe,þā hē wolde mancyn lȳsan.
Bifode ic þā mē se beorn ymbclypte.Ne dorste ic hwæðre bugan to eorðan,
feallan tō foldan scēatum,ac ic sceolde fæste standan.
Rōd wæs ic ārǣred;āhōf ic rīcne Cyning,
heofona Hlāford;hyldan mē ne dorste. 45
Þurhdrifan hī mē mid deorcan næglum;on mē syndon þā dolg gesīene,
opene inwidhlemmas;ne dorste ic hira ǣnigum sceððan.
Bysmeredon hīe unc būtū ætgædere.Eall ic wæs mid blōde bestēmed,
begoten of þæs guman sīdan,siððan hē hæfde his gāst onsended.

Feala ic on þām beorgegebiden hæbbe 50
wrāðra wyrda:geseah ic weruda God
þearle þenian.Þȳstro hæfdon
bewrigen mid wolcnumWealdendes hrǣw,
scīrne scīman,sceadu forð ēode,
wann under wolcnum.Wēop eal gesceaft, 55
cwīðdon cyninges fyll:Crīst wæs on rōde.
Hwæðere þǣr fūsefeorran cwōman
tō þām Æðelinge;ic þæt eall behēold.
Sāre ic wæs mid sorgum[5] gedrēfed,hnāg ic hwæðre þām secgum tō handa,
ēaðmōd elne mycle.Genāmon hīe þǣr ælmihtigne god, 60
āhōfon hine of ðām hefian wīte;forlēton mē þā hilderincas
standan stēame bedrifenne;eall ic wæs mid strǣlum forwundod.
Ālēdon hīe ðǣr limwērigne,gestōdon him æt his līces hēafdum;
behēoldon hīe ðǣr heofenes Dryhten,ond hē hine ðǣr hwīle reste,
mēðe æfter ðām miclan gewinne.Ongunnon him þā moldern wyrcan 65
beornas on banan gesyhðe;curfon hīe ðæt of beorhtan stāne,
gesetton hīe ðǣron sigora Wealdend.Ongunnon him þā sorhlēoð galan
earme on þā ǣfentīde,þā hīe woldon eft sīðian,
mēðe fram þām mǣran Þēodne;reste hē ðǣr mǣte weorode.
Hwæðere wē ðǣr grēotende[6]gōde hwīle 70
stōdon on staðole,stefn[7] up gewāt
hilderinca;hrǣw cōlode,
fæger feorgbold.Þā ūs man fyllan ongan
ealle tō eorðan;þæt wæs egeslic wyrd!
Bedealf ūs man on dēopan sēaþe;hwæðre mē þǣr Dryhtnes þegnas, 75
frēondas gefrūnon,
gyredon mēgolde ond seolfre.

Nū ðū miht gehȳran,hæleð mīn se lēofa,
þæt ic bealuwara weorcgebiden hæbbe,
sārra sorga.Is nū sǣl cumen 80
þæt mē weorðiaðwīde and sīde
menn ofer moldanand eall þēos mǣre gesceaft,
gebiddaþ him tō þyssum bēacne.On mē Bearn Godes
þrōwode hwīle;for þan ic þrymfæst nū
hlīfige under heofenum,and ic hǣlan mæg 85
ǣghwylcne ānraþāra þe him bið egesa tō mē.
Iū ic wæs gewordenwīta heardost,
lēodum lāðost,ǣr þan ic him līfes weg
rihtne gerȳmde,reordberendum.
Hwæt, mē þā geweorþodewuldres Ealdor 90
ofer holmwudu,heofonrīces Weard,
swylce swā hē his mōdor ēac,Marīan sylfe,
ælmihtig Godfor ealle menn
geweorðodeofer eall wīfa cynn.

Nū ic þē hāte,hæleð mīn se lēofa, 95
þæt ðū þās gesyhðesecge mannum,
onwrēoh wordumþæt hit is wuldres bēam,
se ðe ælmihtig godon þrōwode
for mancynnesmanegum synnum
ond Adomesealdgewyrhtum. 100
Dēað hē þǣr byrigde,hwæðere eft dryhten ārās
mid his miclan mihtemannum tō helpe.
Hē ðā on heofenas āstāg.Hider eft fundaþ
on þysne middangeardmancynn sēcan
on dōmdægeDryhten sylfa, 105
ælmihtig Godand his englas mid,
þæt hē þonne wile dēman,se āh dōmes geweald,
ānra gehwylcumswā hē him ǣrur hēr
on þyssum lǣnumlīfe geearnaþ.
Ne mæg þǣr ǣnigunforht wesan 110
for þām wordeþe se Wealdend cwyð:
frīneð hē for þǣre mænigehwǣr se man sīe,
se ðe for Dryhtnes namandēaðes wolde
biteres onbyrigan,swā hē ǣr on ðām bēame dyde.
Ac hīe þonne forhtiað,ond fēa þencaþ 115
hwæt hīe tō Crīstecweðan onginnen.
Ne þearf ðǣr þonne ǣniganforht[8] wesan
þe him ǣr in brēostum bereðbēacna sēlest;
ac ðurh ðā rōde scealrīce gesēcan
of eorðwegeǣghwylc sāwl, 120
sēo þe mid Wealdendewunian þenceð."

Gebæd ic mē þā tō þām[9] bēameblīðe mōde,
elne mycle,þǣr ic āna wæs
mǣte werede.Wæs mōdsefa
āfȳsed on forðwege,feala ealra gebād 125
langunghwīla.Is mē nū līfes hyht
þæt ic þone sigebēamsēcan mōte
āna oftorþonne ealle men,
well weorþian.Mē is willa tō ðām
mycel on mōde,and mīn mundbyrd is 130
geriht tō þǣre rōde.Nāh ic rīcra feala
frēonda on foldan,ac hīe forð heonon
gewiton of worulde drēamum,sōhton him wuldres Cyning,
lifiaþ nū on heofenummid Hēahfædere,
wuniaþ on wuldre;and ic wēne mē 135
daga gehwylcehwænne mē Dryhtnes rōd,
þe ic hēr on eorðanǣr scēawode,
on þysson lǣnanlīfe gefetige
ond mē þonne gebringeþǣr is blis mycel,
drēam on heofonum,þǣr is dryhtnes folc 140
geseted tō symle,þǣr is singāl blis,
ond mē[10] þonne āsetteþǣr ic syþþan mōt
wunian on wuldre,well mid þām hālgum
drēames brūcan.Sī mē Dryhten frēond,
se ðe hēr on eorþanǣr þrōwode 145
on þām gealgtrēowefor guman synnum;
hē ūs onlȳsdeond ūs līf forgeaf,
heofonlicne hām.Hiht wæs genīwad
mid blēdum and mid blisseþām þe þǣr bryne þolodan.
Se Sunu wæs sigorfæston þām sīðfate, 150
mihtig and spēdig,þā hē mid manigeo cōm,
gāsta weorode,on Godes rīce,
Anwealda ælmihtig,englum tō blisse
and eallum ðām hālgumþām þe on heofonum ǣr
wunedon on wuldre,þā heora Wealdend cwōm, 155
ælmihtig God,þær his ēðel wæs.

Notes[edit]

  1. MS hæt
  2. MS eaxlegespanne
  3. MS wealdes
  4. MS surgum
  5. Sorgum supplied by editors; not in MS
  6. MS reotende
  7. MS syððan
  8. MS unforht
  9. MS þan
  10. MS he