Sarah Lynn Higley: 1993

from Between Languages: The Uncooperative Text in Early Welsh and Old English Nature Poetry
Pennsylvania State University Press


go to: line 62: click "irresistibly" to return


    1 I can by myself
    2 expeditions tell
    3 a time of hardship
    4 bitter breastcare
    5 known aboard ship
    6 terrible waves welling
    7 an anxious nightwatch
    8 when along cliffs it knocked.
    9 were my feet,
  10 by cold fetters
  11 hot about the heart.
  12 the seaweary spirit.
  13 for whom on shore
  14 how I, wretched,
  15 in winter endured,
  16 of hall-companions bereft
  17 hung with icicles.
  18 There I did not hear
  19 ice-cold wave.
  20 did I make for myself as game,
  21 and curlew's music
  22 singing sea-mew
  23 Storms there stonecliffs beat
  24 Often eagle screamed
  25 Not any protecting kinsmen
  26 the destitute spirit
  27 Therefore (indeed?) he little believes ---
  28 experienced in town,
  29 proud and wine-swollen ---
  30 in sea's path
  31 Nightshadow darkened.
  32 Frost the ground bound.
  33 Of kernels coldest.
  34 the heart's thoughts °
  35 salt-waves' rolling,
  36 Mind's desire reminds
  37 the spirit to travel,
  38 foreigners'
  39 Indeed there is not so proud-hearted °
  40 nor of his gifts so generous,
  41 nor in his deeds so brave
  42 that he ever about his seafaring
  43 as to what the Lord with (to?) him
  44 Neither will his thought be on harp,
  45 nor on pleasure of women,
  46 nor about anything else
  47 but always has longing
  48 Groves take blossom,
  49 meadows beautiful,
  50 All then remind
  51 the heart, to a journey,
  52 on floodways
  53 Likewise cuckoo reminds °
  54 summer's guardian sings
  55 bitterly into breastcoffer.
  56 fortunate man,
  57 who those tracks of exile (acc.)
  58 Therefore (indeed?) now my mind passes
  59 my spirit
  60 over whale's home
  61 (over) earth's expanse,
  62 eager and greedy.
  63 whets onto whale-way
  64 over seas' lake.
  65 the Lord's joys
  66 fleeting on land.
  67 that for it worldlywealth
  68 Always a certain one of three
  69 before its time
  70 disease or age
  71 from doomed men
  72 Therefore this for every man
  73 of the living ones, praise
  74 that he might earn
  75 through actions on earth
  76 through brave deeds
  77 so that Him the children of men
  78 and His praise from then on
  79 for ever and ever
  80 joy amidst the Heavenly Host.
  81 all magnificence
  82 There are not now kings
  83 or gold-givers
  84 when they among themselves the most
  85 and in the most lordly
  86 Perished is all this host,
  87 the weaker men remain
  88 occupy (it) in travail.
  89 Earth's grandeur
  90 as now each man
  91 Old age overtakes him.
  92 Grey-haired one mourns,
  93 sons of noblemen,
  94 Cannot, then, the fleshcover
  95 either swallow sweetness
  96 or a hand stir
  97 Although the grave (acc.) will
  98 a brother (nom.) of his born (brother),
  99 with various treasures,
100 Cannot be to the soul
101 gold as an aid
102 when he has hoarded it formerly
103 Mighty is the terrible power of the Lord.
104 He established
105 the earth's expanse
106 Foolish is he who does not dread his Lord.
107 Blessed is he who humbly lives.
108 God in him that disposition establishes,
109 One must control (with) a strong mind
110 and (be) true to men
111 Must each man
112 with his friends
113 although (lest?) him he will
114 or on the funeral pyre
115 his well-earned friend.
116 God mightier
117 Let us think
118 and then consider
119 and then let us also endeavour
120 into that eternal
121 there (where) life springs up
122 joy in Heaven.
123 that He honoured us,
124 Eternal Lord,


    1 a true poem utter,
    2 how I in days of toil
    3 often endured
    4 have experienced,
    5 many care-abodes,
    6 (where) there often befell me
    7 at vessel's prow
    8 By cold pinched
    9 frost-bound
  10 there (where?) cares sighed
  11 Hunger inside gnawed
  12 That the man knows not
  13 most fairly it befalls,
  14 ice-cold sea
  15 in tracks of exile,
  16 ........................
  17 Hail flew in gusts.
  18 but roaring sea,
  19 Sometimes wild swan's song
  20 gannet's cry
  21 instead of laughter of men,
  22 instead of mead-drinking.
  23 there tern answered them icy-feathered.
  24 hoary-feathered.
  25 ........................
  26 could travel (console?)
  27 he who has ever life's pleasures
  28 of adversities few,
  29 how I weary often
  30 had to remain.
  31 From north it snowed.
  32 Hail fell on earth
  33 Indeed (therefore? and?) now beat (urge?)
  34 that I high seas,
  35 myself experience.
  36 on each occasion
  37 that I far hence
  38 land seek.
  39 a man on earth,
  40 nor in youth so bold,
  41 nor his lord so loyal to him,
  42 has not had sorrow (anxiety?)
  43 wishes to do.
  44 nor on receiving rings,
  45 nor on worldly joy,
  46 except about the waves' welling,
  47 he who onto water sets out.
  48 towns grow fair,
  49 world hastens on.
  50 the eager of spirit,
  51 for him who thus thinks
  52 afar to depart.
  53 with sad voice,
  54 inviting sorrow.
  55 That the man knows not
  56 what that certain one endured
  57 laid down furthest.
  58 over heart's enclosure,
  59 with flood-tide
  60 passes wide
  61 comes back to me
  62 Lone-flier yells,
  63 the heart irresistibly
  64 Indeed to me hotter are °
  65 than this dead life
  66 I do not believe
  67 forever remains.
  68 in each case
  69 becomes ambiguous:
  70 or edge-hatred
  71 takes away life.
  72 of those speaking afterwards,
  73 is the best of memorials
  74 before he must on his way
  75 against foes' hostility
  76 against the devil,
  77 will hereafter honor
  78 may live with angels
  79 in the blessedness of eternal life,
  80 The days are gone,
  81 of earth's realm.
  82 or Caesars
  83 such as once were
  84 marvels performed
  85 glory lived.
  86 joys are departed,
  87 and this world hold,
  88 Glory is laid low.
  89 grows old and sere
  90 throughout middle-earth.
  91 Visage grows pale.
  92 knows his friends of yore,
  93 to earth given.
  94 when the life has left it
  95 or feel pain
  96 or with mind think.
  97 with gold strew.
  98 bury him among the dead
  99 that will not go with him.
100 that is sinful
101 before the terrible power of God
102 when he lived here.
103 Before (because of?) it the world turns aside.
104 the solid lands,
105 and the heavens above.
106 To him comes the death unforeseen.
107 To him comes the grace of heaven.
108 Therefore (because?) he in his might believes.
109 and within bounds hold it
110 and in ways pure.
111 with moderation govern
112 and with his enemies (his) malice
113 full of fire
114 (have) burned
115 Fate is stronger,
116 than the understanding of any man.
117 where we have a home
118 how we might come there
119 that we might (go)
120 blessedness
121 in love of God,
122 For this let there be thanks to the Holy One
123 Glory's Prince,
124 for all time.


°   34a the heart's thoughts (or: now thoughts beat/urge the heart)
°   39a Indeed (therefore? and yet?) there is not so proud-hearted
°   53a Likewise (thus? however?) cuckoo reminds (urges? admonishes?)
°   64b Indeed (because? therefore?) to me hotter are

It is noted (as the author points out) that this literal translation has a critical purpose in a work which argues that translations often obscure the subtle signals that poems give in their word-order and juxtapositions.



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