from "CYNEWULF'S EPILOGUE" (ELENE)from the VERCELLI BOOK
Anon.trans. Louis J. Rodrigues (from Anglo-Saxon)
Þus ic frod ond fus, .... þurh þæt fæcne hus,
wordcræft wæf .... ond wundrum læs,
þragum þreodude .... ond geþanc reodode,
nihtes nearwe. .... Nysse ic gearwe,
be ðære [rode] riht .... ær me rumran geþeaht,
þurh ða mæran miht, .... on modes þeaht,
wisdom onwreah; .... ic wæs weorcum fáh,
synnum asæled, .... sorgum gewæled,
bitrum gebunden, .... bisgum beþrungen,
ær me lare onlag .... þurh leohtne had,
gamelum to geoce, .... gife unscynde
mægencyning ámæt .... ond on gemynd begeat,
torht ontynde, .... tidum gerymde,
báncofan onband, .... breostlocan onwand,
leoðucræft onleac .... þæs ic lustum breac,
willum in worlde; .... ic þæs wuldres treowes
oft nales æne .... hæfde ingemynd
ær ic þæt wundor .... onwrigen hæfde,
ymb þone beorhtan beam .... swa ic on bocum fand,
wyrda gangum, .... on gewritum cyðan
be ðam sigebeacne. .... A wæs sæc[g] oð ðæt
cnyssed cearwelmum, .... drusende
þeah he in medohealle .... maðmas þege,
æplede gold .... gnornode,
gefera .... nearusorge dreah,
enge rune .... þær him fore
milpaðas mæt, .... modig þrægde,
wirum gewlenced .... is geswiðrad,
gomen æfter gearum, .... geogoð is gecyrred,
ald onmedla .... wæs geara
geogoðhades glæm; .... nu synt geardagas
æfter fyrstmearce .... forð gewitene,
lifwynne geliden .... swa toglideð,
flodas gefysde .... æghwam bið
læne under lyfte; .... landes frætwe
gewitaþ under wolcnum .... winde geliccost
þonne he for hæleðum .... hlud astigeð,
wæðeð be wolcnum, .... wedende færeð,
ond eft semninga .... swige gewyrðeð
in nedcleofan .... nearwe geheaðrod,
þream forþrycced.
Swa þeos wor[u]ld .... eall gewiteð
ond eac swa some .... þe hire on wurdon
atydrede .... tionleg nimeð,
ðonne dryhten sylf .... dom geseceð
engla weorude; ....sceall æghwylc ðær
reordberendra .... riht gehyran
dæda gehwylcra .... þurh þæs deman muð
ond worda swa same, .... wed gesyllan
eallra unsnyttro .... ær gesprecenra,
þristra geþonca.
............
............
Thus I, old and death-bound, through this body doomed,
have woven wondrous, and contrived, the craft of words;
have deeply taken thought at times and uttered thanks
in the night's durance. I knew not very well
the truth about the cross until an ampler view to me,
through its reputed might, in the mind's counsel,
wisdom disclosed; I was by wicked deeds proscribed,
shackled with sins, by sorrows plagued,
bitterly bound, beset with cares,
ere learning granted me, in glorious wise,
as solace to old age, a worthy gift;
the mighty King meted out and poured into my mind,
revealed its radiance, enlarged it repeatedly,
unbound my flesh, unchained my mind,
unlocked the craft of song which I have gladly served
with pleasure in the world; that tree of glory I,
not once, but often, had remembrance of
ere I had had that miracle disclosed
concerning that bright beam, such as I found in books,
in course of time, in writings told,
about that victory-sign. Ever was the man till then
tossed on sorrow’s surges; a drowsing Torch,
though he in mead-hall treasure took,
bossed gold. Horn grieved,
Need's companion, endured close care,
an anxious secret where before him Steed
measured the mile-paths, proudly pranced,
decked with woven wires. Delight is done,
mirth after years; youth is gone,
the glory of old. Ur was once
youth's radiance; now the days of yore
have sped forth, after a space of time,
life's joys gone, as Water glides away,
flood impelled. Wealth is for every one
transient under heaven; the treasures of earth
under the welkin die most like to wind
when before men it rises loud,
ranging the heavens, in fury fares on,
and suddenly again turns still,
closely confined in its narrow cell,
wretchedly oppressed, so shall this world
completely pass;
and likewise those who by her were
spawned, destroying flame shall seize
when God himself to judgment comes
with a host of angels; there shall each
speech-bearer hear just sentence
out of the Judge's mouth for all his deeds
and make atonement likewise for all words
unwisely uttered heretofore,
audacious thoughts.
............
............

Copyright © Louis J. Rodrigues - publ. Llanerch Publishers


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