Cosette Faust [Newton] & Stith Thompson: 1918

From Old English Poems translated into the Original Meter; Chicago



I will sing of myself

Tell of my travels

How often I endured

Bitter breast-care

Have seen from my ship

Awful welling of waves;

On the narrow night-wakes

When it crashed into cliffs;

Were my freezing feet,

In its blighting clutch;

Hot around my heart.

My sea-weary soul.

For the landsman who lives

How, sorrowful and sad

I eked out my exile


Hung about by icicles;

There I heard naught

The ice-cold surge

The note of the gannet

The sea-bird's song

For the mead-drink of men

Storms beat on the cliffs,

Icy of feather;

The dewy-winged bird.

With merciful kindness

Of this little can he judge

And, settled in the city,

And proud and prosperous ---

When I wearily wander

Night shadows descended;

The world was fettered with frost;

The coldest of corns.


Which surge in my heart

That I test the terrors

My soul constantly kindles

To fare itself forth

To seek the strands

There is no one in this world

So good in his giving,

So daring in his deeds,

But that he leaves the land

By the grace of God

Nor hearkens he to harp

Nor in the wiles of a wife

Save in the welling of waves

But he ever has longing

The forests are in flower

The woods are in bloom,

Everything urges

Sends the seeker

To try his fortune

The cuckoo warns

The summer-ward sings,

Heavy to the heart.

For the man of pleasure,

Endure who dare

In my bursting breast

My spirit sallies

Sails o'er the waves,

To the bounds of the world

Eagerly, longingly;

My soul unceasingly

Over the waves of the sea.

a song that is true,

and troublesome days,

days of hardship;

I have borne as my portion,

sorrowful shores,

oft on watch I have been

at the neck of the ship,

with cold often pinched

by frost bound tight

cares then burned me,

Hunger tore within

To conceive this is hard

on the lonely shore ---

on a sea ice-cold,

through the awful winter

deprived of my kinsmen,

hail flew in showers.

but the howl of the sea,

with a swan-song at times;

for gayety served me,

for sayings of people,

the mew's sad note.

'mid the cry of gulls,

and the eagle screamed,

No dear friend comes

my misery to conquer.

who has joy in his life,

is sated with wine,

how painful it is

on the waves full oft!

it snowed from the north;

hail fell to the earth,

Yet course now desires


for the high seas,

of the tossing waves;

in keenest impatience

and far off hence

of stranger tribes.

so o'erweening in power,

so gallant in his youth,

so dear to his lord,

and longs for the sea.

he will gain or lose;

nor has heart for gift-treasures,

nor in the world rejoices.

no whit takes he pleasure;

who is lured by the sea.

and fair are the hamlets;

the world is astir

one eager to travel,

of seas afar

on the terrible foam.

in its woeful call;

sorrow foretelling,

Hard it is to know

what many with patience

the dangers of exile!

now burns my heart,

over the sea-floods wide,

wanders afar

and back at once,

the lone-flyer beckons

to sail o'er the whale-path,



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