THE LAMENT OF THE LAST SURVIVOR from "BEOWULF" ll.2247-66
Anon.trans. Louis J. Rodrigues (from Anglo-Saxon)
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'Heald þu nu, hruse, .... nu hæleð ne mostan,
eorla æhte! .... Hwæt, hyt ær on ðe
gode begeaton; .... gubdeab fomam,
feorhbealo frecne .... fyra gehwylcne
leoda minra .... þara ðe þis [lif] ofgeaf,
gesawon seledream. .... Nah, hwa sweord wege
oððe fe(o)r(mie) .... fæted wæge,
dryncfæt deore; .... dug(uð) ellor s[c]eoc.
Sceal se hearda helm .... (hyr)stedgolde,
fætum befeallen;.... feormynd swefað,
þa ðe beadogriman .... bywan sceoldon;
ge swylce seo herepad, .... sio æt hilde gebad
ofer borda gebræc .... bite irena,
brosnað æfter beorne. .... Ne mæg byrnan hring
æfter wigfruman .... wide feran,
hæleðum be healfe. .... Næs hearpan wyn,
gomen gleobeames, .... ne god hafoc
geond sæl swingeð, .... ne se swifta mearh
burhstede beateð. .... Bealocwealm hafað
fela feorhcynna .... forð onsended!'
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'Hold thou now, earth, now heroes may not,
the fortune of eorls! Lo, first from thee
brave warriors won it; death in war, dread,
deadly disaster, plundered my people;
many a man abandoned this life
who witnessed hall-joys. I have none to bear sword,
to polish the plated cup,
rich drinking-vessel; retainers vanish.
Now shall hard helm of hammered gold
be shorn of its plating, they sleep who should
burnish the battle-masks.
Likewise, the byrny, which bore in battle,
mid shock of shields, the bite of blades,
rots like its master. Nor may ringed hauberk
fare far and wide upon its war-chieftain,
alongside his heroes. Harp's joy is fled,
sin ging wood's sound; no noble hawk
sweeps through hall; no swift steed stamps
in castle courtyard. Baleful death
has banished hence many of mortal kind!'
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Copyright © Louis J. Rodrigues - publ. Llanerch Publishers


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