MyGen-logo [ Outlaw Genealogy  | Bruce History  | Lost Chords ]
[ Projects | News | FAQ | Suggestions | Search | HotLinks  | Resources | Ufo  ]

The Exeter Book  


The Exeter Book, Exeter Cathedral Library MS 3501, also known as the Codex Exoniensis, is a tenth-century book or codex which is an anthology of Anglo-Saxon poetry. It is one of the four major Anglo-Saxon literature codices, along with the Vercelli Book, Nowell Codex and the Cædmon manuscript or MS Junius 11. The book was donated to the library of Exeter Cathedral by Leofric, the first bishop of Exeter, in 1072. It is believed originally to have contained 131 leaves, of which the first 8 have been replaced with other leaves; the original first 8 pages are lost. The Exeter Book is the largest known collection of Old English literature still in existence.


The precise date when the Exeter Book was compiled and written down is unknown, but it is rightly acknowledged to be one of the great works of the English Benedictine revival of the tenth century, and proposed dates for it range from 960 to 990. This period saw a rise in monastic activity and productivity under the renewed influence of Benedictine principles and standards. At the opening of the period, Dunstan's importance to the Church and to the English kingdom was established, culminating in his appointment to the Archbishopric at Canterbury under Edgar and leading to the monastic reformation by which this era was characterised. Dunstan died in 998, and by the period's close, England under Æthelred faced an increasingly determined Scandinavian incursion, to which it would eventually succumb.

The Exeter Book's heritage becomes traceable from 1072, when Leofric, Bishop at Exeter, died.[2] Among the treasures which he is recorded to have bestowed in his Will upon the then-impoverished monastery, is one famously described as "mycel Englisc boc be gehwilcum þingum on leoð-wisan geworht" (i.e., "a large English book of poetic works about all sorts of things"). This book has been widely assumed to be the Exeter Codex as it survives today.

Some marginalia were added to the manuscript by Laurence Nowell in the sixteenth century and George Hickes in the seventeenth.[3]

| - - - -  

1-4 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons - YouTube

2-4 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons - YouTube

3-4 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons - YouTube

4-4 Treasures of the Anglo Saxons - YouTube

Hear the original language of the Angles - ...

The Wanderer (Anglo-Saxon poem, Old English) 

The Wanderer (Anglo-Saxon poem, Old English) YouTube

The Wanderer - Sung in Old English YouTube 

The Wanderer - in modern English - YouTube 

The Wanderer: The Anglo-Saxon Warrior Ideal in a Transitional Society

The Wanderer (Anglo-Saxon poem, Old English)  text translation


Oft him anhaga

Often the solitary one


are gebide,

finds grace for himself


metudes miltse,

the mercy of the Lord,


eah e he modcearig

Although he, sorry-hearted,


geond lagulade

must for a long time


longe sceolde

move by hand [in context = row]


hreran mid hondum

along the waterways,


hrimcealde s

(along) the ice-cold sea,


wadan wrclastas.

tread the paths of exile.


Wyrd bi ful ard!

Events always go as they must!


Swa cw eardstapa,

So spoke the wanderer,


earfea gemyndig,

mindful of hardships,


wrara wlsleahta,

of fierce slaughters


winemga hryre:

and the downfall of kinsmen:



Oft ic sceolde ana

Often (or always) I had alone


uhtna gehwylce

to speak of my trouble


mine ceare cwian.

each morning before dawn.


Nis nu cwicra nan

There is none now living


e ic him modsefan

to whom I dare


minne durre

clearly speak


sweotule asecgan.

of my innermost thoughts.


Ic to soe wat

I know it truly,


t bi in eorle

that it is in men


indryhten eaw,

a noble custom,


t he his ferlocan

that one should keep secure


fste binde,

his spirit-chest (mind),


healde his hordcofan,

guard his treasure-chamber (thoughts),


hycge swa he wille.

think as he wishes.


Ne mg werig mod

The weary spirit cannot


wyrde wistondan,

withstand fate (the turn of events),


ne se hreo hyge

nor does a rough or sorrowful mind


helpe gefremman.

do any good (perform anything helpful).


Foron domgeorne

Thus those eager for glory


dreorigne oft

often keep secure


in hyra breostcofan

dreary thoughts


binda fste;

in their breast;


swa ic modsefan

So I,


minne sceolde,

often wretched and sorrowful,


oft earmcearig,

bereft of my homeland,


ele bidled,

far from noble kinsmen,


freomgum feor

have had to bind in fetters


feterum slan,

my inmost thoughts,


sian geara iu

Since long years ago


goldwine minne

I hid my lord


hrusan heolstre biwrah,

in the darkness of the earth,


ond ic hean onan

and I, wretched, from there


wod wintercearig

travelled most sorrowfully


ofer waema gebind,

over the frozen waves,


sohte seledreorig

sought, sad at the lack of a hall,


sinces bryttan,

a giver of treasure,


hwr ic feor oe neah

where I, far or near,


findan meahte

might find


one e in meoduhealle

one in the meadhall who


mine wisse,

knew my people,


oe mec freondleasne

or wished to console


frefran wolde,

the friendless one, me,


wenian mid wynnum.

entertain (me) with delights.


Wat se e cunna

He who has tried it knows


hu slien bi

how cruel is


sorg to geferan

sorrow as a companion


am e him lyt hafa

to the one who has few


leofra geholena:

beloved friends:


wara hine wrclast,

the path of exile (wrclast) holds him,


nales wunden gold,

not at all twisted gold,


ferloca freorig,

a frozen spirit,


nals foldan bld.

not the bounty of the earth.


Gemon he selesecgas

He remembers hall-warriors


ond sincege,

and the giving of treasure


hu hine on geogue

How in youth his lord (gold-friend)


his goldwine

accustomed him


wenede to wiste.

to the feasting.


Wyn eal gedreas!

All the joy has died!


Foron wat se e sceal

And so he knows it, he who must


his winedryhtnes

forgo for a long time


leofes larcwidum

the counsels


longe forolian:

of his beloved lord:


onne sorg ond sl

Then sorrow and sleep


somod tgdre

both together


earmne anhogan

often tie up


oft gebinda.

the wretched solitary one.


ince him on mode

He thinks in his mind


t he his mondryhten

that he embraces and kisses


clyppe ond cysse,

his lord,


ond on cneo lecge

and on his (the lord's) knees lays


honda ond heafod,

his hands and his head,


swa he hwilum r

Just as, at times (hwilum), before,


in geardagum

in days gone by,


giefstolas breac.

he enjoyed the gift-seat (throne).


onne onwcne eft

Then the friendless man


wineleas guma,

wakes up again,


gesih him biforan

He sees before him


fealwe wegas,

fallow waves


baian brimfuglas,

Sea birds bathe,


brdan fera,

preening their feathers,


hreosan hrim ond snaw

Frost and snow fall,


hagle gemenged.

mixed with hail.


onne beo y hefigran

Then are the heavier


heortan benne,

the wounds of the heart,


sare fter swsne.

grievous (sare) with longing for (fter) the lord.


Sorg bi geniwad

Sorrow is renewed


onne maga gemynd

when the mind (mod) surveys


mod geondhweorfe;

the memory of kinsmen;


grete gliwstafum,

He greets them joyfully,


georne geondsceawa

eagerly scans


secga geseldan;

the companions of men;


swimma oft on weg

they always swim away.


fleotendra fer

The spirits of seafarers


no r fela bringe

never bring back there much


cura cwidegiedda.

in the way of known speech.


Cearo bi geniwad

Care is renewed


am e sendan sceal

for the one who must send


swie geneahhe

very often


ofer waema gebind

over the binding of the waves


werigne sefan.

a weary heart.


Foron ic geencan ne mg

Indeed I cannot think


geond as woruld

why my spirit


for hwan modsefa

does not darken


min ne gesweorce

when I ponder on the whole


onne ic eorla lif

life of men


eal geondence,

throughout the world,


hu hi frlice

How they suddenly


flet ofgeafon,

left the floor (hall),


modge maguegnas.

the proud thanes.


Swa es middangeard

So this middle-earth,


ealra dogra gehwam

a bit each day,


dreose ond fealle;

droops and decays -


foron ne mg weoran wis

Therefore man (wer)


wer, r he age

cannot call himself wise, before he has


wintra dl in woruldrice.

a share of years in the world.


Wita sceal geyldig,

A wise man must be patient,


ne sceal no to hatheort

He must never be too impulsive


ne to hrdwyrde,

nor too hasty of speech,


ne to wac wiga

nor too weak a warrior


ne to wanhydig,

nor too reckless,


ne to forht ne to fgen,

nor too fearful, nor too cheerful,


ne to feohgifre

nor too greedy for goods,


ne nfre gielpes to georn,

nor ever too eager for boasts,


r he geare cunne.

before he sees clearly.


Beorn sceal gebidan,

A man must wait


onne he beot sprice,

when he speaks oaths,


ot collenfer

until the proud-hearted one


cunne gearwe

sees clearly


hwider hrera gehygd

whither the intent of his heart


hweorfan wille.

will turn.


Ongietan sceal gleaw hle

A wise hero must realize


hu gstlic bi,

how terrible it will be,


onne ealre isse worulde wela

when all the wealth of this world


weste stonde,

lies waste,


swa nu missenlice

as now in various places


geond isne middangeard

throughout this middle-earth


winde biwaune

walls stand,


weallas stonda,

blown by the wind,


hrime bihrorene,

covered with frost,


hryge a ederas.

storm-swept the buildings.


Woria a winsalo,

The halls decay,


waldend licga

their lords lie


dreame bidrorene,

deprived of joy,


dugu eal gecrong,

the whole troop has fallen,


wlonc bi wealle.

the proud ones, by the wall.


Sume wig fornom,

War took off some,


ferede in forwege,

carried them on their way,


sumne fugel obr

one, the bird took off


ofer heanne holm,

across the deep sea,


sumne se hara wulf

one, the gray wolf


deae gedlde,

shared one with death,


sumne dreorighleor

one, the dreary-faced


in eorscrfe

man buried


eorl gehydde.

in a grave.


Yde swa isne eardgeard

And so He destroyed this city,


lda scyppend

He, the Creator of Men,


ot burgwara

until deprived of the noise


breahtma lease

of the citizens,


eald enta geweorc

the ancient work of giants


idlu stodon.

stood empty.



Se onne isne wealsteal

He who thought wisely


wise geohte

on this foundation,


ond is deorce lif

and pondered deeply


deope geondence,

on this dark life,


frod in fere,

wise in spirit,


feor oft gemon

remembered often from afar


wlsleahta worn,

many conflicts,


ond as word acwi:

and spoke these words:



Hwr cwom mearg? Hwr cwom mago? 

Where is the horse gone? Where the rider?


Hwr cwom maumgyfa?

Where the giver of treasure?


Hwr cwom symbla gesetu?

Where are the seats at the feast?


Hwr sindon seledreamas?

Where are the revels in the hall?


Eala beorht bune!

Alas for the bright cup!


Eala byrnwiga!

Alas for the mailed warrior!


Eala eodnes rym!

Alas for the splendour of the prince!


Hu seo rag gewat,

How that time has passed away,


genap under nihthelm,

dark under the cover of night,


swa heo no wre.

as if it had never been!


Stonde nu on laste

Now there stands in the trace


leofre dugue

of the beloved troop


weal wundrum heah,

a wall, wondrously high,


wyrmlicum fah.

wound round with serpents.


Eorlas fornoman

The warriors taken off


asca rye,

by the glory of spears,


wpen wlgifru,

the weapons greedy for slaughter,


wyrd seo mre,

the famous fate (turn of events),


ond as stanhleou

and storms beat


stormas cnyssa,

these rocky cliffs,


hri hreosende

falling frost


hrusan binde,

fetters the earth,


wintres woma,

the harbinger of winter;


onne won cyme,

Then dark comes,


nipe nihtscua,

nightshadows deepen,


noran onsende

from the north there comes


hreo hglfare

a rough hailstorm


hleum on andan.

in malice against men.


Eall is earfolic

All is troublesome


eoran rice,

in this earthly kingdom,


onwende wyrda gesceaft

the turn of events changes


weoruld under heofonum.

the world under the heavens.


Her bi feoh lne,

Here money is fleeting,


her bi freond lne,

here friend is fleeting,


her bi mon lne,

here man is fleeting,


her bi mg lne,

here kinsman is fleeting,


eal is eoran gesteal

all the foundation of this world


idel weore!

turns to waste!


Swa cw snottor on mode,

So spake the wise man in his mind,


gest him sundor t rune.

where he sat apart in counsel.


Til bi se e his treowe gehealde,

Good is he who keeps his faith,


ne sceal nfre his torn to rycene

And a warrior must never speak


beorn of his breostum acyan,

his grief of his breast too quickly,


neme he r a bote cunne,

unless he already knows the remedy -


eorl mid elne gefremman.

a hero must act with courage.


Wel bi am e him are sece,

It is better for the one that seeks mercy,


frofre to Fder on heofonum,

consolation from the father in the heavens,


r us eal seo fstnung stonde.

where, for us, all permanence rests.


The Seafarer (youtube)

The Seafarer adapts an Old English poem about the suffering and joy of the sea. The cellist runs from and eventually accepts the instrument itself, just as the narrator rejects and eventually embraces life on the sea. This piece can also be performed live by a single, acting cellist.

The Seafarer  (Translation Text)



Mg ic be me sylfum

I can make a true song


sogied wrecan,

about me myself,


sias secgan,

tell my travels,


hu ic geswincdagum

how I often endured



days of struggle,


oft rowade,

troublesome times,


bitre breostceare

[how I] have suffered


gebiden hbbe,

grim sorrow at heart,


gecunnad in ceole

have known in the ship


cearselda fela,

many worries [abodes of care],


atol ya gewealc,

the terrible tossing of the waves,


r mec oft bigeat

where the anxious night watch


nearo nihtwaco

often took me


t nacan stefnan,

at the ship's prow,


onne he be clifum cnossa.

when it tossed near the cliffs.


Calde gerungen

Fettered by cold


wron mine fet,

were my feet,


forste gebunden

bound by frost


caldum clommum,

in cold clasps,


r a ceare seofedun

where then cares seethed


hat ymb heortan;

hot about my heart --


hungor innan slat

a hunger tears from within


merewerges mod.

the sea-weary soul.


t se mon ne wat

This the man does not know


e him on foldan

for whom on land


fgrost limpe,

it turns out most favourably,


hu ic earmcearig

how I, wretched and sorrowful,


iscealdne s

on the ice-cold sea


winter wunade

dwelt for a winter


wrccan lastum,

in the paths of exile,


winemgum bidroren,

bereft of friendly kinsmen,


bihongen hrimgicelum;

hung about with icicles;


hgl scurum fleag.

hail flew in showers.


r ic ne gehyrde

There I heard nothing


butan hlimman s,

but the roaring sea,


iscaldne wg.

the ice-cold wave.


Hwilum ylfete song

At times the swan's song


dyde ic me to gomene,

I took to myself as pleasure,


ganotes hleoor

the gannet's noise


ond huilpan sweg

and the voice of the curlew


fore hleahtor wera,

instead of the laughter of men,


mw singende

the singing gull


fore medodrince.

instead of the drinking of mead.


Stormas r stanclifu beotan,

Storms there beat the stony cliffs,


r him stearn oncw,

where the tern spoke,





ful oft t earn bigeal,

always the eagle cried at it,





nnig hleomga

no cheerful kinsmen


feasceaftig fer

can comfort


frefran meahte.

the poor soul.


Foron him gelyfe lyt,

Indeed he credits it little,


se e ah lifes wyn

the one who has the joys of life,


gebiden in burgum,

dwells in the city,


bealosia hwon,

far from terrible journey,


wlonc ond wingal,

proud and wanton with wine,


hu ic werig oft

how I, weary, often


in brimlade

have had to endure


bidan sceolde.

in the sea-paths.


Nap nihtscua,

The shadows of night darkened,


noran sniwde,

it snowed from the north,


hrim hrusan bond,

frost bound the ground,


hgl feol on eoran,

hail fell on the earth,


corna caldast.

coldest of grains.


Foron cnyssa nu

Indeed, now they are troubled,


heortan geohtas

the thoughts of my heart,


t ic hean streamas,

that I myself should strive with


sealtya gelac

the high streams,


sylf cunnige --

the tossing of salt waves --


mona modes lust

the wish of my heart urges


mla gehwylce

all the time


fer to feran,

my spirit to go forth,


t ic feor heonan

that I, far from here,



should seek the homeland


eard gesece --

of a foreign people --


Foron nis s modwlonc

Indeed there is not so proud-spirited


mon ofer eoran,

a man in the world,


ne his gifena s god,

nor so generous of gifts,


ne in geogue to s hwt,

nor so bold in his youth,


ne in his ddum to s deor,

nor so brave in his deeds,


ne him his dryhten to s hold,

nor so dear to his lord,


t he a his sfore

that he never in his seafaring


sorge nbbe,

has a worry,


to hwon hine Dryhten

as to what his Lord


gedon wille.

will do to him.


Ne bi him to hearpan hyge

Not for him is the sound of the harp


ne to hringege

nor the giving of rings


ne to wife wyn

nor pleasure in woman


ne to worulde hyht

nor worldly glory --


ne ymbe owiht elles

nor anything at all


nefne ymb ya gewealc;

unless the tossing of waves;


ac a hafa longunge

but he always has a longing,


se e on lagu funda.

he who strives on the waves.


Bearwas blostmum nima,

Groves take on blossoms,


byrig fgria,

the cities grow fair,


wongas wlitiga,

the fields are comely,


woruld onette:

the world seems new:


ealle a gemonia

all these things urge on


modes fusne

the eager of spirit,


sefan to sie

the mind to travel,


am e swa ence

in one who so thinks


on flodwegas

to travel far


feor gewitan.

on the paths of the sea.


Swylce geac mona

So the cuckoo warns


geomran reorde;

with a sad voice;


singe sumeres weard,

the guardian of summer sings,


sorge beode

bodes a sorrow


bitter in breosthord.

grievous in the soul.


t se beorn ne wat,

This the man does not know,


sefteadig secg,

the warrior lucky in worldly things


hwt a sume dreoga

what some endure then,


e a wrclastas

those who tread most widely


widost lecga.

the paths of exile.


Foron nu min hyge hweorfe

And now my spirit twists


ofer hreerlocan,

out of my breast,


min modsefa

my spirit


mid mereflode,

out in the waterways,


ofer hwles eel

over the whale's path


hweorfe wide,

it soars widely


eoran sceatas --

through all the corners of the world --


cyme eft to me

it comes back to me


gifre ond grdig;

eager and unsated;


gielle anfloga,

the lone-flier screams,


hwete on hwlweg

urges onto the whale-road


hreer unwearnum

the unresisting heart


ofer holma gelagu.

across the waves of the sea.


Foron me hatran sind

Indeed hotter for me are


Dryhtnes dreamas

the joys of the Lord


onne is deade lif

than this dead life


lne on londe.

fleeting on the land.


Ic gelyfe no

I do not believe


t him eorwelan

that the riches of the world


ece stonda.

will stand forever.


Simle reora sum

Always and invariably,


inga gehwylce

one of three things


r his tiddege

will turn to uncertainty


to tweon weore:

before his fated hour:


adl oe yldo

disease, or old age,


oe ecghete

or the sword's hatred


fgum fromweardum

will tear out the life


feorh oringe.

from those doomed to die.


Foron bi eorla gehwam

And so it is for each man



the praise of the living,


lof lifgendra

of those who speak afterwards,


lastworda betst,

that is the best epitaph,


t he gewyrce,

that he should work


r he on weg scyle,

before he must be gone


fremum on foldan

bravery in the world


wi feonda ni,

against the enmity of devils,


deorum ddum

daring deeds


deofle togeanes,

against the fiend,


t hine lda bearn

so that the sons of men


fter hergen,

will praise him afterwards,


ond his lof sian

and his fame afterwards


lifge mid englum

will live with the angels


awa to ealdre,

for ever and ever,


ecan lifes bld,

the glory of eternal life,


dream mid dugeum.

joy with the Hosts.


Dagas sind gewitene,

The days are gone


ealle onmedlan

of all the glory


eoran rices;

of the kingdoms of the earth;


nearon nu cyningas

there are not now kings,


ne caseras

nor Csars,


ne goldgiefan

nor givers of gold


swylce iu wron,

as once there were,


onne hi mst mid him

when they, the greatest, among themselves


mra gefremedon

performed valorous deeds,


ond on dryhtlicestum

and with a most lordly


dome lifdon.

majesty lived.


Gedroren is eos dugu eal,

All that old guard is gone


dreamas sind gewitene;

and the revels are over --


wunia a wacran

the weaker ones now dwell


ond s woruld healda,

and hold the world,


bruca urh bisgo.

enjoy it through their sweat.


Bld is gehnged,

The glory is fled,


eoran indryhto

the nobility of the world


ealda ond seara,

ages and grows sere,


swa nu monna gehwylc

as now does every man


geond middangeard.

throughout the world.


Yldo him on fare,

Age comes upon him,


onsyn blaca,

his face grows pale,


gomelfeax gnorna,

the graybeard laments;


wat his iuwine,

he knows that his old friends,


elinga bearn

the sons of princes,


eoran forgiefene.

have been given to the earth.


Ne mg him onne se flschoma

His body fails then,


onne him t feorg losa

as life leaves him --


ne swete forswelgan

he cannot taste sweetness


ne sar gefelan

nor feel pain,


ne hond onhreran

nor move his hand


ne mid hyge encan.

nor think with his head.


eah e grf wille

Though he would strew


golde stregan

the grave with gold,


broor his geborenum,

a brother for his kinsman,


byrgan be deadum

bury with the dead


mamum mislicum,

a mass of treasure,


t hine mid wille,

it just won't work --


ne mg re sawle

nor can the soul


e bi synna ful

which is full of sin


gold to geoce

preserve the gold


for Godes egsan,

before the fear of God,


onne he hit r hyde

though he hid it before


enden he her leofa.

while he was yet alive.


Micel bi se Meotudes egsa,

Great is the fear of the Lord,


foron hi seo molde oncyrre;

before which the world stands still;


se gestaelade

He established


stie grundas,

the firm foundations,


eoran sceatas

the corners of the world


ond uprodor.

and the high heavens.


Dol bi se e him his Dryhten ne ondrde:

A fool is the one who does not fear his Lord


cyme him se dea uninged.

-- death comes to him unprepared.


Eadig bi se e eamod leofa;

Blessed is he who lives humbly


cyme him seo ar of heofonum.

-- to him comes forgiveness from heaven.


Meotod him t mod gestaela,

God set that spirit within him,


foron he in his meahte gelyfe.

because he believed in His might.


Stieran mon sceal strongum mode,

Man must control his passions


ond t on staelum healdan,

and keep everything in balance,


ond gewis werum,

keep faith with men,


wisum clne.

and be pure in wisdom.


Scyle monna gehwylc

Each of men must


mid gemete healdan

be even-handed


wi leofne ond wi lane

with their friends and their foes.


* * * bealo.



eah e he hine wille

? though he does not wish him


fyres fulne

? in the foulness of flames


oe on ble

? or on a pyre



? to be burned


his geworhtne wine,

? his contrived friend,


Wyrd bi swire,

Fate is greater


Meotud meahtigra,

and God is mightier


onne nges monnes gehygd.

than any man's thought.


Uton we hycgan

Let us ponder


hwr we ham agen,

where we have our homes


ond onne geencan

and then think


hu we ider cumen;

how we should get thither --


ond we onne eac tilien

and then we should all strive


t we to moten

that we might go there


in a ecan

to the eternal





r is lif gelong

that is a belonging life


in lufan Dryhtnes,

in the love of the Lord,


hyht in heofonum.

joy in the heavens.


s sy am Halgan onc

Let there be thanks to God


t he usic geweorade,

that he adored us,


wuldres Ealdor

the Father of Glory,


ece Dryhten,

the Eternal Lord,


in ealle tid. Amen.

for all time. Amen.


Anglo-Saxon poem "Deor" with Lyre - youtube

Deor: an Old English Poem, set to music by Will Rowan 
This kind of harp or lyre was played in Scandinavia, England, and continental Europe from about 500-1000 AD

Deor - Translation


Welund him be wurman

Weland himself, by means of worms (swords?),


wrces cunnade,

experienced agony,


anhydig eorl

the strong-minded noble


earfoa dreag,

endured troubles;


hfde him to gesie

he had for his companions


sorge and longa,

sorrow and longing,


wintercealde wrce,

winter-bitter wrack,


wean oft onfond

he often found misery


sian hine Nihad on

after Nihad


nede legde,

put fetters on him,


swoncre seonobende

supple sinew-bonds


on syllan monn.

on the better man.


s ofereode,

That was overcome,


isses swa mg.

so may this be.



Beadohilde ne ws

Beadohild was not


hyre brora dea

as sad in mind


on sefan swa sar

for the death of her brothers


swa hyre sylfre ing,

as for her own trouble,


t heo gearolice

she had


ongietan hfde

clearly realized


t heo eacen ws;

that she was pregnant;


fre ne meahte

she could never


riste geencan

think resolutely


hu ymb t sceolde.

of how that would have to (turn out).


s ofereode,

That was overcome,


isses swa mg.

so may this be.


We t Mhilde

We heard that


mone gefrugnon

the moans of Matilda,


wurdon grundlease

of the lady of Geat,


Geates frige,

were numberless


t hi seo sorglufu

so that (her) sorrowful love


slp ealle binom.

entirely deprived of sleep.


s ofereode,

That was overcome,


isses swa mg.

so may this be.


eodric ahte

Theodric ruled


ritig wintra

for thirty winters


Mringa burg;

the city of the Mrings;


t ws monegum cu.

that was known to many.


s ofereode,

That was overcome,


isses swa mg.

so may this be.


We geascodan

We heard





wylfenne geoht;

wolfish thought;


ahte wide folc

he ruled widely the people


Gotena rices;

of the kingdom of the Goths -


t ws grim cyning.

That was a grim king!


St secg monig

Many a warrior sat,


sorgum gebunden,

bound up by cares,


wean on wenan,

woes in mind,


wyscte geneahhe

wished constantly


t s cynerices

that the kingdom


ofercumen wre.

were overcome.


s ofereode,

That was overcome,


isses swa mg.

so may this be.



Site sorgcearig,

He sits sorrowful and anxious,


slum bidled,

bereft of joy,


on sefan sweorce,

darkening in his mind,


sylfum ince

he thinks to himself


t sy endeleas

that (it) is endless


earfoa dl,

the (his) part of troubles;


mg onne geencan

then he can consider


t geond as woruld

that throughout this world


witig Dryhten

the wise Lord


wende geneahhe,

always goes,


eorle monegum

to many men


are gesceawa,

he shows honour,


wislicne bld,

sure glory,


sumum weana dl.

to some a share of troubles.


t ic bi me sylfum

I, for myself,


secgan wille,

want to say this,


t ic hwile ws

that for a while I was


Heodeninga scop,

the scop (bard) of the Hedenings,


dryhtne dyre;

dear to my lord;


me ws Deor noma.

my name was Deor.


Ahte ic fela wintra

I had for many winters


folga tilne,

a good position,


holdne hlaford,

a loyal lord,


o t Heorrenda nu,

until Heorrenda now,


leocrftig monn,

a man skilful in songs,


londryht geah

has taken the estate


t me eorla hleo

that the protector (hleo) of warriors (eorla)


r gesealde.

before (r) gave to me.


s ofereode,

That was overcome,


isses swa mg.

so may this be.