The Northern Way

The Complete Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Poetry

Vainglory
Verse Indeterminate Saxon

Hwæt, me frod wita on fyrndagum
sægde, snottor ar, sundorwundra fela.
Wordhord onwreah witgan larum
beorn boca gleaw, bodan ærcwide,
5
þæt ic soðlice siþþan meahte
ongitan bi þam gealdre godes agen bearn,
wilgest on wicum, ond þone wacran swa some,
scyldum bescyredne, on gescead witan.
þæt mæg æghwylc mon eaþe geþencan,
10
se þe hine ne læteð on þas lænan tid
amyrran his gemyndum modes gælsan
ond on his dægrime druncen to rice,
þonne monige beoð mæþelhegendra,
wlonce wigsmiþas winburgum in,
15
sittaþ æt symble, soðgied wrecað,
wordum wrixlað, witan fundiaþ
hwylc æscstede inne in ræcede
mid werum wunige, þonne win hweteð
beornes breostsefan. Breahtem stigeð,
20
cirm on corþre, cwide scralletaþ
missenlice. Swa beoþ modsefan
dalum gedæled, sindon dryhtguman
ungelice. Sum on oferhygdo
þrymme þringeð, þrinteð him in innan
25
ungemedemad mod; sindan to monige þæt!
Bið þæt æfþonca eal gefylled
feondes fligepilum, facensearwum;
breodað he ond bælceð, boð his sylfes
swiþor micle þonne se sella mon,
30
þenceð þæt his wise welhwam þince
eal unforcuþ. Biþ þæs oþer swice,
þonne he þæs facnes fintan sceawað.
Wrenceþ he ond blenceþ, worn geþenceþ
hinderhoca, hygegar leteð,
35
scurum sceoteþ. He þa scylde ne wat
fæhþe gefremede, feoþ his betran
eorl fore æfstum, læteð inwitflan
brecan þone burgweal, þe him bebead meotud
þæt he þæt wigsteal wergan sceolde,
40
siteþ symbelwlonc, searwum læteð
wine gewæged word ut faran,
þræfte þringan þrymme gebyrmed,
æfæstum onæled, oferhygda ful,
niþum nearowrencum. Nu þu cunnan meaht,
45
gif þu þyslicne þegn gemittest
wunian in wicum, wite þe be þissum
feawum forðspellum þæt þæt biþ feondes bearn
flæsce bifongen, hafað fræte lif,
grundfusne gæst gode orfeormne,
50
wuldorcyninge. þæt se witga song,
gearowyrdig guma, ond þæt gyd awræc:
"Se þe hine sylfne in þa sliþnan tid
þurh oferhygda up ahlæneð,
ahefeð heahmodne, se sceal hean wesan
55
æfter neosiþum niþer gebiged,
wunian witum fæst, wyrmum beþrungen.
þæt wæs geara iu in godes rice
þætte mid englum oferhygd astag,
widmære gewin. Wroht ahofan,
60
heardne heresiþ, heofon widledan,
forsawan hyra sellan, þa hi to swice þohton
ond þrymcyning þeodenstoles
ricne beryfan, swa hit ryht ne wæs,
ond þonne gesettan on hyra sylfra dom
65
wuldres wynlond. þæt him wige forstod
fæder frumsceafta; wearð him seo feohte to grim.
ðonne bið þam oþrum ungelice
se þe her on eorþan eaðmod leofað,
ond wiþ gesibbra gehwone simle healdeð
70
freode on folce ond his feond lufað,
þeah þe he him abylgnesse oft gefremede
willum in þisse worulde. Se mot wuldres dream
in haligra hyht heonan astigan
on engla eard. Ne biþ þam oþrum swa,
75
se þe on ofermedum eargum dædum
leofaþ in leahtrum, ne beoð þa lean gelic
mid wuldorcyning." Wite þe be þissum,
gif þu eaðmodne eorl gemete,
þegn on þeode, þam bið simle
80
gæst gegæderad godes agen bearn
wilsum in worlde, gif me se witega ne leag.
Forþon we sculon a hycgende hælo rædes
gemunan in mode mæla gehwylcum
þone selestan sigora waldend.
85
Amen.

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