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George K.Anderson: 1949

from   The Literature of the Anglo-Saxons ;  OUP/PUP


The groves take on their blossoms; the towns grow fair,
The meadows beautiful; the world revives;
All things urge on the hearts of the eager-minded
To the journey, the hearts of men who bethink them
To depart far over the flood-ways.
Yet the cuckoo sings a warning with its mournful notes,
The guardian of the summer bodes forth sorrow
Bitter in its breast-hoard. No man can know,
Who dwells in comfort, what they endure
Who lay their paths of exile far and wide!
            So now my thoughts go roaming;
My spirit is with the sea-flood
Beyond the home of the whale; it hovers afar
Over the expanses of the world; it returns to me
Greedy and yearning. The solitary flier cries out;
It drives me irresistibly on the whale-road,
Over the wastes of the sea ...

ll. 48-64a

... Therefore more ardent for me
Are the joys of the Lord than this dead life
Transitory on earth ...

ll. 64b-66a

... Blessed is he who lives humbly;
Mercy will come to him from the heavens;
And the Lord will establish him in courage,
For he has trusted well in His strength.

ll. 107-108

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