THE OLD POETIC

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TRANSLATIONS OF OLD ENGLISH POETRY

By Rupert Granville Glover  |  M.A. (Hons), LL.B. Hons (Cantuar)

 

The Poems

Deor: The Singer’s Lament

Weland knew very well the feeling of exile.

Oppressed with hardships, the steadfast man

had for companions sorrow and longing,

wintry-cold exile; he was often miserable

after Nithhad laid bonds on him, slashed

the sinews of a nobler man.


That passed away, so may this also.


Her brother's death

did not wound the heart of Beadohild

as much as her own state when

she realised clearly that she was

with child. She did not dare

think of the upshot of this.


That passed away, so may this also.


Many have heard that the Geat's love

for Maethilde grew so boundless that

this sad love completely deprived him of sleep.


That passed away, so may this also.


For thirty winters Theodoric was exiled

from the city of the Maeringas; many knew this.


That passed away, so may this also.


We have heard of the wolfish thoughts of

Eormanric; far and wide he held the

Gothic kingdom.  He was a savage king.

Many a warrior sat bound by sorrows,

expecting the worst, and constantly wishing

for the downfall of the kingdom.


That passed away, so may this also.


The sorrowful man sits deprived of happiness,

troubled in heart; his portion of

hardships seems to him endless. But then

he may reflect that the wise Lord works

in many ways throughout this world,

granting to many a man honour and certain glory,

but to some a miserable portion.

About myself I will say that

I was once singer of the Heodenings

and dear to my lord. Deor was my name.

For many winters I had a useful position

and a gracious lord; but now Heorrenda,

a skilful minstrel, has received the estate

that the protector of men once gave to me.


That passed away, so may this also.