The Wanderer —


Often the lone-dweller waits for favor, mercy of the Measurer, though he unhappy across the seaways long time must stir with his hands the rime-cold sea, tread exile-tracks. Fate is established! 

So the earth-stepper spoke, mindful of hardships, of fierce slaughter, the fall of kin: Oft must I, alone, the hour before dawn lament my care. Among the living none now remains to whom I dare my inmost thought clearly reveal. I know it for truth: it is in a warrior noble strength to bind fast his spirit, guard his wealth-chamber, think what he will. Weary mind never withstands fate, nor does troubled thought bring help. Therefore, glory-seekers oft bind fast in breast-chamber a dreary mind.

So must I my heart – often wretched with cares, deprived of homeland, far from kin – fasten with fetters, since long ago earth covered my lord in darkness, and I, wretched, thence, mad and desolate as winter, over the wave’s binding sought, hall-dreary, a giver of treasure, where far or near I might find one who in mead-hall might accept my affection, or on me, friendless, might wish consolation, offer me joy. He knows who tries it how cruel is sorrow, a bitter companion, to the one who has few concealers of secrets, beloved friends. The exile-track claims him, not twisted gold, his soul-chamber frozen, not fold’s renown. He remembers hall-warriors and treasure-taking, how among youth his gold-friend received him at the feast. Joy has all perished! So he knows, who must of his lord-friend, of loved one, lore-sayings long time forgo.