The Northern Way

The Complete Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Poetry

Maxims I
Verse Indeterminate Saxon

Frige mec frodum wordum! Ne læt þinne ferð onhælne,
degol þæt þu deopost cunne! Nelle ic þe min dyrne gesecgan,
gif þu me þinne hygecræft hylest ond þine heortan geþohtas.
Gleawe men sceolon gieddum wrixlan. God sceal mon ærest hergan
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fægre, fæder userne, forþon þe he us æt frymþe geteode
lif ond lænne willan; he usic wile þara leana gemonian.
Meotud sceal in wuldre, mon sceal on eorþan
geong ealdian. God us ece biþ,
ne wendað hine wyrda ne hine wiht dreceþ,
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adl ne yldo ælmihtigne;
ne gomelað he in gæste, ac he is gen swa he wæs,
þeoden geþyldig. He us geþonc syleð,
missenlicu mod, monge reorde.
Feorhcynna fela fæþmeþ wide
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eglond monig. Eardas rume
meotud arærde for moncynne,
ælmihtig god, efenfela bega
þeoda ond þeawa. þing sceal gehegan
frod wiþ frodne; biþ hyra ferð gelic,
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hi a sace semaþ, sibbe gelærað,
þa ær wonsælge awegen habbað.
Ræd sceal mid snyttro, ryht mid wisum,
til sceal mid tilum. Tu beoð gemæccan;
sceal wif ond wer in woruld cennan
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bearn mid gebyrdum. Beam sceal on eorðan
leafum liþan, leomu gnornian.
Fus sceal feran, fæge sweltan
ond dogra gehwam ymb gedal sacan
middangeardes. Meotud ana wat
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hwær se cwealm cymeþ, þe heonan of cyþþe gewiteþ.
Umbor yceð, þa æradl nimeð;
þy weorþeð on foldan swa fela fira cynnes,
ne sy þæs magutimbres gemet ofer eorþan,
gif hi ne wanige se þas woruld teode.
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Dol biþ se þe his dryhten nat, to þæs oft cymeð deað unþinged.
Snotre men sawlum beorgað, healdað hyra soð mid ryhte.
Eadig bið se þe in his eþle geþihð, earm se him his frynd geswicað.
Nefre sceal se him his nest aspringeð, nyde sceal þrage gebunden.
Bliþe sceal bealoleas heorte. Blind sceal his eagna þolian,
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oftigen biþ him torhtre gesihþe. Ne magon hi tunglu bewitian,
swegltorht sunnan ne monan; þæt him biþ sar in his mode,
onge þonne he hit ana wat, ne weneð þæt him þæs edhwyrft cyme.
Waldend him þæt wite teode, se him mæg wyrpe syllan,
hælo of heofodgimme, gif he wat heortan clæne.
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Lef mon læces behofað. Læran sceal mon geongne monnan,
trymman ond tyhtan þæt he teala cunne, oþþæt hine mon atemedne hæbbe,
sylle him wist ond wædo, oþþæt hine mon on gewitte alæde.
Ne sceal hine mon cildgeongne forcweþan, ær he hine acyþan mote;
þy sceal on þeode geþeon, þæt he wese þristhycgende.
50
Styran sceal mon strongum mode. Storm oft holm gebringeþ,
geofen in grimmum sælum; onginnað grome fundian
fealwe on feorran to londe, hwæþer he fæste stonde.
Weallas him wiþre healdað, him biþ wind gemæne.
Swa biþ sæ smilte,
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þonne hy wind ne weceð;
swa beoþ þeoda geþwære, þonne hy geþingad habbað,
gesittað him on gesundum þingum, ond þonne mid gesiþum healdaþ
cene men gecynde rice. Cyning biþ anwealdes georn;
lað se þe londes monað, leof se þe mare beodeð.
60
þrym sceal mid wlenco, þriste mid cenum,
sceolun bu recene beadwe fremman.
Eorl sceal on eos boge, eorod sceal getrume ridan,
fæste feþa stondan. Fæmne æt hyre bordan geriseð;
widgongel wif word gespringeð, oft hy mon wommum bilihð,
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hæleð hy hospe mænað, oft hyre hleor abreoþeð.
Sceomiande man sceal in sceade hweorfan, scir in leohte geriseð.
Hond sceal heofod inwyrcan, hord in streonum bidan,
gifstol gegierwed stondan, hwonne hine guman gedælen.
Gifre biþ se þam golde onfehð, guma þæs on heahsetle geneah;
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lean sceal, gif we leogan nellað, þam þe us þas lisse geteode.
Forst sceal freosan, fyr wudu meltan,
eorþe growan, is brycgian,
wæter helm wegan, wundrum lucan
eorþan ciþas. An sceal inbindan
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forstes fetre felameahtig god;
winter sceal geweorpan, weder eft cuman,
sumor swegle hat, sund unstille.
Deop deada wæg dyrne bið lengest;
holen sceal inæled, yrfe gedæled
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deades monnes. Dom biþ selast.
Cyning sceal mid ceape cwene gebicgan,
bunum ond beagum; bu sceolon ærest
geofum god wesan. Guð sceal in eorle,
wig geweaxan, ond wif geþeon
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leof mid hyre leodum, leohtmod wesan,
rune healdan, rumheort beon
mearum ond maþmum, meodorædenne
for gesiðmægen symle æghwær
eodor æþelinga ærest gegretan,
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forman fulle to frean hond
ricene geræcan, ond him ræd witan
boldagendum bæm ætsomne.
Scip sceal genægled, scyld gebunden,
leoht linden bord, leof wilcuma
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Frysan wife, þonne flota stondeð;
biþ his ceol cumen ond hyre ceorl to ham,
agen ætgeofa, ond heo hine in laðaþ,
wæsceð his warig hrægl ond him syleþ wæde niwe,
liþ him on londe þæs his lufu bædeð.
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Wif sceal wiþ wer wære gehealdan, oft hi mon wommum belihð;
fela bið fæsthydigra, fela bið fyrwetgeornra,
freoð hy fremde monnan, þonne se oþer feor gewiteþ.
Lida biþ longe on siþe; a mon sceal seþeah leofes wenan,
gebidan þæs he gebædan ne mæg. Hwonne him eft gebyre weorðe,
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ham cymeð, gif he hal leofað, nefne him holm gestyreð,
mere hafað mundum mægðegsan wyn.
Ceapeadig mon cyningwic þonne
leodon cypeþ, þonne liþan cymeð;
wuda ond wætres nyttað, þonne him biþ wic alyfed,
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mete bygeþ, gif he maran þearf, ærþon he to meþe weorþe.
Seoc se biþ þe to seldan ieteð; þeah hine mon on sunnan læde,
ne mæg he be þy wedre wesan, þeah hit sy wearm on sumera,
ofercumen biþ he, ær he acwele, gif he nat hwa hine cwicne fede.
Mægen mon sceal mid mete fedan, morþor under eorþan befeolan,
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hinder under hrusan, þe hit forhelan þenceð;
ne biþ þæt gedefe deaþ, þonne hit gedyrned weorþeð.
Hean sceal gehnigan, hadl gesigan,
ryht rogian. Ræd biþ nyttost,
yfel unnyttost, þæt unlæd nimeð.
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God bið genge, ond wiþ god lenge.
Hyge sceal gehealden, hond gewealden,
seo sceal in eagan, snyttro in breostum,
þær bið þæs monnes modgeþoncas.
Muþa gehwylc mete þearf, mæl sceolon tidum gongan.
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Gold geriseþ on guman sweorde,
sellic sigesceorp, sinc on cwene,
god scop gumum, garniþ werum,
wig towiþre wicfreoþa healdan.
Scyld sceal cempan, sceaft reafere,
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sceal bryde beag, bec leornere,
husl halgum men, hæþnum synne.
Woden worhte weos, wuldor alwalda,
rume roderas; þæt is rice god,
sylf soðcyning, sawla nergend,
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se us eal forgeaf þæt we on lifgaþ,
ond eft æt þam ende eallum wealdeð
monna cynne. þæt is meotud sylfa.
Ræd sceal mon secgan, rune writan,
leoþ gesingan, lofes gearnian,
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dom areccan, dæges onettan.
Til mon tiles ond tomes meares,
cuþes ond gecostes ond calcrondes;
nænig fira to fela gestryneð.
Wel mon sceal wine healdan on wega gehwylcum;
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oft mon fereð feor bi tune, þær him wat freond unwiotodne.
Wineleas, wonsælig mon genimeð him wulfas to geferan,
felafæcne deor. Ful oft hine se gefera sliteð;
gryre sceal for greggum, græf deadum men;
hungre heofeð, nales þæt heafe bewindeð,
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ne huru wæl wepeð wulf se græga,
morþorcwealm mæcga, ac hit a mare wille.
Wræd sceal wunden, wracu heardum men.
Boga sceal stræle, sceal bam gelic
mon to gemæccan. Maþþum oþres weorð,
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gold mon sceal gifan. Mæg god syllan
eadgum æhte ond eft niman.
Sele sceal stondan, sylf ealdian.
Licgende beam læsest groweð.
Treo sceolon brædan ond treow weaxan,
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sio geond bilwitra breost ariseð.
Wærleas mon ond wonhydig,
ætrenmod ond ungetreow,
þæs ne gymeð god.
Fela sceop meotud þæs þe fyrn gewearð, het siþþan swa forð wesan.
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Wæra gehwylcum wislicu word gerisað,
gleomen gied ond guman snyttro.
Swa monige beoþ men ofer eorþan, swa beoþ modgeþoncas;
ælc him hafað sundorsefan.
Longað þonne þy læs þe him con leoþa worn,
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oþþe mid hondum con hearpan gretan;
hafaþ him his gliwes giefe, þe him god sealde.
Earm biþ se þe sceal ana lifgan,
wineleas wunian hafaþ him wyrd geteod;
betre him wære þæt he broþor ahte, begen hi anes monnes,
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eorles eaforan wæran, gif hi sceoldan eofor onginnan
oþþe begen beran; biþ þæt sliþhende deor.
A scyle þa rincas gerædan lædan
ond him ætsomne swefan;
næfre hy mon tomælde,
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ær hy deað todæle.
Hy twegen sceolon tæfle ymbsittan, þenden him hyra torn toglide,
forgietan þara geocran gesceafta, habban him gomen on borde;
idle hond æmetlan geneah tæfles monnes, þonne teoselum weorpeð.
Seldan in sidum ceole, nefne he under segle yrne,
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werig scealc wiþ winde roweþ; ful oft mon wearnum tihð
eargne, þæt he elne forleose, drugað his ar on borde.
Lot sceal mid lyswe, list mid gedefum;
þy weorþeð se stan forstolen.
Oft hy wordum toweorpað,
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ær hy bacum tobreden;
geara is hwær aræd.
Wearð fæhþo fyra cynne, siþþan furþum swealg
eorðe Abeles blode. Næs þæt andæge nið,
of þam wrohtdropan wide gesprungon,
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micel mon ældum, monegum þeodum
bealoblonden niþ. Slog his broðor swæsne
Cain, þone cwealm nerede; cuþ wæs wide siþþan,
þæt ece nið ældum scod, swa aþolwarum.
Drugon wæpna gewin wide geond eorþan,
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ahogodan ond ahyrdon heoro sliþendne.
Gearo sceal guðbord, gar on sceafte,
ecg on sweorde ond ord spere,
hyge heardum men. Helm sceal cenum,
ond a þæs heanan hyge hord unginnost.


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