The Northern Way

The Complete Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Poetry

The Wife's Lament
Verse Indeterminate Saxon


Ic þis giedd wrece      bi me ful geomorre,
minre sylfre sið.      Ic þæt secgan mæg,
hwæt ic yrmþa gebad,      siþþan ic up weox,
niwes oþþe ealdes,      no ma þonne nu.

5

A ic wite wonn      minra wræcsiþa.
ærest min hlaford gewat      heonan of leodum
ofer yþa gelac;      hæfde ic uhtceare
hwær min leodfruma      londes wære.
ða ic me feran gewat      folgað secan,

10

wineleas wrecca,      for minre weaþearfe.
Ongunnon þæt þæs monnes      magas hycgan
þurh dyrne geþoht,      þæt hy todælden unc,
þæt wit gewidost      in woruldrice
lifdon laðlicost,      ond mec longade.

15

Het mec hlaford min      herheard niman,
ahte ic leofra lyt      on þissum londstede,
holdra freonda.      Forþon is min hyge geomor,
ða ic me ful gemæcne      monnan funde,
heardsæligne,      hygegeomorne,

20

mod miþendne,      morþor hycgendne.
Bliþe gebæro      ful oft wit beotedan
þæt unc ne gedælde      nemne deað ana
owiht elles;      eft is þæt onhworfen,
is nu      swa hit no wære

25

freondscipe uncer.      Sceal ic feor ge neah
mines felaleofan      fæhðu dreogan.
Heht mec mon wunian      on wuda bearwe,
under actreo      in þam eorðscræfe.
Eald is þes eorðsele,      eal ic eom oflongad,

30

sindon dena dimme,      duna uphea,
bitre burgtunas,      brerum beweaxne,
wic wynna leas.      Ful oft mec her wraþe begeat
fromsiþ frean.      Frynd sind on eorþan,
leofe lifgende,      leger weardiað,

35

þonne ic on uhtan      ana gonge
under actreo      geond þas eorðscrafu.
þær ic sittan mot      sumorlangne dæg,
þær ic wepan mæg      mine wræcsiþas,
earfoþa fela;      forþon ic æfre ne mæg

40

þære modceare      minre gerestan,
ne ealles þæs longaþes      þe mec on þissum life begeat.
A scyle geong mon      wesan geomormod,
heard heortan geþoht,      swylce habban sceal
bliþe gebæro,      eac þon breostceare,

45

sinsorgna gedreag,      sy æt him sylfum gelong
eal his worulde wyn,      sy ful wide fah
feorres folclondes,      þæt min freond siteð
under stanhliþe      storme behrimed,
wine werigmod,      wætre beflowen

50

on dreorsele.      Dreogeð se min wine
micle modceare;      he gemon to oft
wynlicran wic.      Wa bið þam þe sceal
of langoþe      leofes abidan.

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