The Wife's Lament Pages

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My Translation

1) I is iedd wrece bi m, ful emorre,
I recite this poem concerning myself, full of sorrow

mnre sylfre s. I t secgan m,
in my own journey. I can say this,

hwt i yrma ebd sian i p wox,
for valiant I miserably endured after I grew up,

nwes oe ealdes, n m onne n.
new or old, never more than now.

5) i wte wonn mnra wrcsa.
Always have I endured in my journey of exile.

rest mn hlford ewt heonan of lodum
First my lord departed hence from his people

ofer a elc; hfde i hteare
after all the tumult; I had sorrow at daybreak

hwr mn lodfruma londes wre.
for where my prince could be in the land.

i m fran ewt folga san,
Then I journeyed out myself seeking retinue,

10) winelas wra, for mnre waearfe.
lordless refugee, in my woeful need.

Ongunnon t s monnes mgas hycgan
The man's kinsmen undertook and intended

urh dyrne eht, t h tdlden unc
through secret thought, that they might divide us

t wit ewdost in woruldre
that we were widely divided in the world-empire

lifdon llicost--ond mec longade.
and lived wretchedly--and I longed for him.

15) Ht mec hlford mn herheard niman;
My lord bid me to take my home here;

ahte i lofra lt on issum londstede,
I possessed dear little in this region,

holdra fronda. For on is mn hye emor,
no loyal friend. Therefore is my spirit mournful,

d i m ful emcne monnan funde
since the very suitable man I found was

heardsline, hyeemorne,
unfortunate, sad in mind,

20) md mendne, moror hycgendne.
heart concealed, with murderous intent.

Ble ebro ful oft wit botedan
With cheerful demeanor very often we two

t unc ne edlde nemne da na
vowed we would not be divided except by death alone

wiht elles; eft is t onhworfen,
over anything else; again is this reversed,

is n eworden sw hit n wre
it is now *** like it never was,

25) frondscipe uncer. Sceal i feor e nah
this love of ours. I shall far and near

mnes felalofan fhe drogan.
suffer enmity from my very dear love.

Heht mec mon wunian on wuda bearwe
I was bid to remain in a wood grove

under ctro in m eorscrfe.
under a tree in this cave.

Eald is es eorsele, eal i eom oflongad.
Ancient is this cave-dwelling, I am consumed with longing.

30) Sindon dena dimme, dna pha,
T he vallyes are dark, the hills high,

bitre burgtnas brrum beweaxne,
the cruel town enclosure with briars is grown over,

w wynna las.
the dwelling place is joyless.

Ful oft mec hr wre beeat
Very often here I am bitterly seized because of the

froms fran. Frnd sind on eoran
departure of my lord. Is my lover

lofe lifende, leer weardia,
occupying his own death bed,

onne i on htan na gonge
when I at dawn walk alone

under ctro eond s eorscrafu.
under and oaktree through these graves.

r i sittan mt sumorlangne d;
There I must sit as long as a summer's day;

r i wpan m mne wrcsas,
there I must weep for my wretched journey


earfoa fela, for on i fre ne m
my troubles are many, for I have never

re mdeare mnre erestan,
had rest from my grief,

ne ealles s longaes e mec on issum lfe beeat.
not wholly, since my life began.

scyle eong mon wesan emormd,
A young woman is always under obligation to be serious-minded

heard heortan eht; swyle habban sceal
and bold-hearted in purpose; likewise she must be

ble ebro, ac on brosteare,
cheerful in her behavior, even when she is sorrowful,

sinsorgna edreag. Sy t him sylfum elong
in a tumult of grief. She should be dependent on herself

eal his worulde wyn. Sy ful wde fh
all her life for joy. As a criminal

feorres folclondes, t mn frond site
far from his native land, my lover sits

under stnhlie storme behrmed,
under a rocky, frost-covered cliff in a storm,

wine wrimd, wtre beflwen
my lord is weary-minded as water flows around him

on drorsele, droge se mn wine
in his cruel dwelling where my lord has

mile mdeare. H emon t oft
great sorrow. He is reminded too often of

wynlicran w. W bi m e sceal
a more pleasant abode. Affliction is that which must be

of langoe lofes bdan.
for he who longs and waits for his beloved.