A FATHER'S LAMENT FOR HIS SONfrom "BEOWULF" ll.2444-62a
Anon.trans. Louis J. Rodrigues (from Anglo-Saxon)
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Swa bið geomorlic .... gomelum ceorle
to gebidanne, .... þæt his byre ride
giong on galgan; .... þonne he gyd wrece,
sarigne sang, .... þonne his sunu hangað
hrefne to hroðre,.... ond he him helpe ne mæg
eald ond infrod .... ænige gefremman.
Symble bið gemyndgad .... morna gehwylce
eaforan ellorsið .... oðres ne gymeð
to gebidanne .... burgum in innan
yrfeweardas, .... þonne se an hafað
þurh deaðes nyd .... dæda gefondad.
Gesyhð sorhcearig .... on his suna bure
winsele westne, .... windge reste
reote berofene,.... --- ridend swefað,
hæleð in hoðman; .... nis þær hearpan sweg,
gomen in geardum,.... swylce ðær iu wæron.
Gewiteð þonne on sealman, .... sorhleoð gæleð
an æfter anum;.... þuhte him eall to rum,
wongas ond wicstede.
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So it is sad for an aged man
to suffer, that his son should swing
young on the gallows; then he utters a dirge,
a doleful song, when his son hangs
for a raven's sport and he, old, stricken
in years, can frame no help for him.
He is ever reminded, with every morn,
of his son's death; he cares not to wait
for another heir in his hall
after the first, through force of death,
has met this end for his evil deeds.
Sadly, he gazes on his son's bower,
wasted wine-hall, cheerless, windswept
resting-place: the riders sleep,
heroes in the grave; no sound of harp,
no mirth in the courts, as once of yore.
So he goes to his couch, sings a doleful song
one alone for another; all too spacious seem
his lands and his dwelling-place.
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Copyright © Louis J. Rodrigues - publ. Llanerch Publishers


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