(I) have endured bitter breast-care, explored aboard ship many
aspects of sorrow, the terrible rolling of the waves, where often
the dangerous night-watch occupied me at the vessel's prow
when it dashes beside the cliffs. Chilled with cold were my feet,
bound with the cold fetters of frost, where those cares sighed
hot around my heart; hunger tore within the heart of he who is
weary of the sea.
Therefore thoughts now oppress my heart that I should myself
explore the high seas, the salt wave's tumult, my heart's desire
urges my spirit all the time to set out, so that I may seek the true
home of the pilgrim far hence.
There is for him no thought of the harp, of receiving the rings, of delight in woman, of pleasure in the world, or about anything else except the rolling of the waves; but always had sad yearning he who is eager to go on to the ocean.
Woods take on blossoms, make beautiful the cities, brighten
the meadows, the world hastens; all those urge the spirit of the
eager one, (urge) the mind to the journey, (urge) one who thinks
to depart far upon the seas. Likewise, the cuckoo admonishes
with its sad voice, sings the summer's herald, announces sor-
row, sadness in the breast.
Therefore now my mind wanders beyond the enclosure of my breast, my spirit with the sea tide over the whales' domain crosses widely the expanses of the earth, comes back to me, eager and greedy, the solitary flier cries, incites the heart
irresistibly on to the paths of the whales, across the seas' expanses ...
so that the sons of men may afterwards praise him, and his
fame may live since then among the angels forever, the eternal
glory of life, joy among the noblest hosts
The days are gone, all the magnificence of the kingdoms of the world; there are not now kings, nor emperors, nor gold-givers as once there were, when they performed among themselves the most glorious deeds and lived in lordliest repute. Fallen is all
this noble company, joys are departed; the weakest things inhabit and possess this world, dominate it through toil and trouble. Glory is brought low, the nobility of the world grows old and fades, as now does everyone throughout the earth.
Let us think where we have our home, and then consider how
we may get there; and we shall then also labour so that we are
allowed into that eternal blessedness, where the source of life is,
in the love of the Lord, bliss in the heavens. For that let there
be thanks to the Holy God, He who has honoured us, Prince of
Glory, eternal Lord for all time. Amen.