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Sean Miller

The Seafarer
I can make a true song about me myself, tell my travels, how I often endured days of struggle, troublesome times, how I have suered grim sorrow at heart, have known in the ship many worries [abodes of care], the terrible tossing of the waves, where the anxious night watch often took me at the ships prow, when it tossed near the clis. Fettered by cold were my feet, bound by frost in cold clasps, where then cares seethed hot about my heart a hunger tears from within the sea-weary soul. This the man does not know for whom on land it turns out most favourably, how I, wretched and sorrowful, on the ice-cold sea dwelt for a winter in the paths of exile, bereft of friendly kinsmen, hung about with icicles; hail ew in showers. There I heard nothing but the roaring sea, the ice-cold wave. At times the swans song I took to myself as pleasure, the gannets noise and the voice of the curlew instead of the laughter of men, 1

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The Seafarer the singing gull instead of the drinking of mead. Storms there beat the stony clis, where the tern spoke, icy-feathered; always the eagle cried at it, dewy-feathered; no cheerful kinsmen can comfort the poor soul. Indeed he credits it little, the one who has the joys of life, dwells in the city, far from terrible journey, proud and wanton with wine, how I, weary, often have had to endure in the sea-paths. The shadows of night darkened, it snowed from the north, frost bound the ground, hail fell on the earth, coldest of grains. Indeed, now they are troubled, the thoughts of my heart, that I myself should strive with the high streams, the tossing of salt waves the wish of my heart urges all the time my spirit to go forth, that I, far from here, should seek the homeland of a foreign people Indeed there is not so proud-spirited a man in the world, nor so generous of gifts, nor so bold in his youth, nor so brave in his deeds, nor so dear to his lord, that he never in his seafaring has a worry, as to what his Lord will do to him. 2

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Sean Miller Not for him is the sound of the harp nor the giving of rings nor pleasure in woman nor worldly glory nor anything at all unless the tossing of waves; but he always has a longing, he who strives on the waves. Groves take on blossoms, the cities grow fair, the elds are comely, the world seems new: all these things urge on the eager of spirit, the mind to travel, in one who so thinks to travel far on the paths of the sea. So the cuckoo warns with a sad voice; the guardian of summer sings, bodes a sorrow grievous in the soul. This the man does not know, the warrior lucky in worldly things what some endure then, those who tread most widely the paths of exile. And now my spirit twists out of my breast, my spirit out in the waterways, over the whales path it soars widely through all the corners of the world it comes back to me eager and unsated; the lone-ier screams, urges onto the whale-road the unresisting heart across the waves of the sea. Indeed hotter for me are the joys of the Lord than this dead life 3 85

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The Seafarer eeting on the land. I do not believe that the riches of the world will stand forever. Always and invariably, one of three things will turn to uncertainty before his fated hour: disease, or old age, or the swords hatred will tear out the life from those doomed to die. And so it is for each man the praise of the living, of those who speak afterwards, that is the best epitaph, that he should work before he must be gone bravery in the world against the enmity of devils, daring deeds against the end, so that the sons of men will praise him afterwards, and his fame afterwards will live with the angels for ever and ever, the glory of eternal life, joy with the Hosts. The days are gone of all the glory of the kingdoms of the earth; there are not now kings, nor Csars, nor givers of gold as once there were, when they, the greatest, among themselves performed valorous deeds, and with a most lordly majesty lived. All that old guard is gone and the revels are over the weaker ones now dwell and hold the world, 4

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Sean Miller enjoy it through their sweat. The glory is ed, the nobility of the world ages and grows sere, as now does every man throughout the world. Age comes upon him, his face grows pale, the graybeard laments; he knows that his old friends, the sons of princes, have been given to the earth. His body fails then, as life leaves him he cannot taste sweetness nor feel pain, nor move his hand nor think with his head. Though he would strew the grave with gold, a brother for his kinsman, bury with the dead a mass of treasure, it just wont work nor can the soul which is full of sin preserve the gold before the fear of God, though he hid it before while he was yet alive. Great is the fear of the Lord, before which the world stands still; He established the rm foundations, the corners of the world and the high heavens. A fool is the one who does not fear his Lord death comes to him unprepared. Blessed is he who lives humbly to him comes forgiveness from heaven. God set that spirit within him, because he believed in His might. Man must control his passions and keep everything in balance, 5

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The Seafarer keep faith with men, and be pure in wisdom. Each of men must be even-handed with their friends and their foes. ? ? though he does not wish him ? in the foulness of ames ? or on a pyre ? to be burned ? his contrived friend, Fate is greater and God is mightier than any mans thought. Let us ponder where we have our homes and then think how we should get thither and then we should all strive that we might go there to the eternal blessedness that is a belonging life in the love of the Lord, joy in the heavens. Let there be thanks to God that he adored us, the Father of Glory, the Eternal Lord, for all time. Amen.
Translation by Sean Miller

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Charles W. Kennedy

The Seafarer
A song I sing of my sea adventure, The strain of peril, the stress of toil, Which oft I endured in anguish of spirit Through weary hours of aching woe. My bark was swept by the breaking seas; Bitter the watch from the bow by night As my ship drove on within sound of the rocks. My feet were numb with the nipping cold, Hunger sapped a sea-weary spirit, And care weighed heavy upon my heart. Little the landlubber, safe on shore, Knows what Ive suered in icy seas Wretched and worn by the winter storms, Hung with icicles, stung by hail, Lonely and friendless and far from home. In my ears no sound but the roar of the sea, The icy combers, the cry of the swan; In place of the mead-hall and laughter of men My only singing the sea-mews call, The scream of the gannett, the shriek of the gull; Through the wail of the wild gale beating the blus The piercing cry of the ice-coated petrel, The storm-drenched eagles echoing scream In all my wretchedness, weary and lone, I had no comfort of comrade or kin. Little indeed can he credit, whose town-life Pleasantly passes in feasting and joy, Sheltered from peril, what weary pain Often Ive suered in foreign seas. Night shades darkened with driving snow From the freezing north, and the bonds of frost Firm-locked the land, while falling hail, Coldest of kernels, encrusted earth. Yet, still, even now, my spirit within me Drives me seaward to sail the deep, To ride the long swell of the salt sea-wave. Never a day but my hearts desire Would launch me forth on the long sea-path Fain of far harbors and foreign shores. Yet lives no man so lordly of mood, So eager in giving, so ardent in youth, So bold in his deeds, or so dear to his lord, 7

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The Seafarer Who is free from dread in his far sea-travel, Or fear of Gods purpose and plan for his fate. The beat of the harp, and bestowal of treasure, The love of woman, and worldly hope, Nor other interest can hold his heart Save only the sweep of the surging billows; His heart is haunted by love of the sea. Trees are budding and towns are fair, Meadows kindle and all life quickens, All things hasten the eager-hearted, Who joyeth therein, to journey afar, Turning seaward to distant shores. The cuckoo stirs him with plaintive call, The herald of summer, with mournful song, Foretelling the sorrow that stabs the heart. Who liveth in luxury, little he knows What woe men endure in exiles doom. Yet still, even now, my desire outreaches, My spirit soars over tracts of sea, Oer the home of the whale, and the worlds expanse. Eager, desirous, the lone sprite returneth; It cries in my ears and it urges my heart To the path of the whale and the plunging sea.
Translated by Charles W. Kennedy

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Igor Fux and Matthias Kasimir

The Seafarer
May I by myself sing (work) a true song, about my voyages, how I in hard days a hard time often suered, bitter sorrows (breast cares) have endured, known (experienced) aboard the ship many worries. dreadful waves roll, there I/me often got narrow/ frightening nightwatches in stern of the ship, when it hit the clis. Chill penetrated were my feet, bound by frost, in the cold grip. There the cares weep/ wail hot in the heart, hunger lowered/ cut at the mood of (the man) weary of the sea. That the man does not know to whom on the land the fairest life happens, how I poorly on the icecold sea lived in the winter in the track/ way of the outcast, bereft of the loved kinsmen, hung with icicles/ rime, hail in showers ew. There I heard nothing but the sea roar, icecold wave. At times with the swan song did I myself delight, the voice of the water fowl / gannet and curlews cry instead of mens laughter, the seagull singing, instead of the meaddrink. There storms beat the stone-clis , there the seaswallow answers them with icy feathers the eagle often yelled, with wet feathers, none of the protecting relatives might soothe the lonely heart. Therefore he (him) believes little, (he who ... believes little) who owned the lifes joy, experienced in a palace, of the badness of voyages little, proud and winehappy, how I often weary, on the sea voyage must stay. Dark grew night shadows, it snowed from the north, rime bound the soil, hail fell on the earth, of corn(s) the coldest. Therefore now beat thoughts of the heart that I deep streams, salty waves commotion myself alone know urge the hearts desire many times, the soul to depart, that I far from here foreign peoples home might seek. Therefore (there) is not such a haughty man on earth, 9

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The Seafarer nor are his gifts that good, nor in his youth so bold, nor in his deeds so brave, nor his lord to him so generous, that he has no worries about his sea-voyage, to what purpose his lord will put him. Nor has he a mind for the harp nor for getting rings, nor delight in women nor joy in life, nor about anything else, apart from the rolling of the waves, but they always have a longing, he (those) who set head for the sea. Woods bear blossoms, castles turn beautiful (fair), elds shine, the world thrives, all that admonishes the one ready at heart, the heart for the yourney, those who think in this way to go far on sea routes. In the same way cuckoo admonish(es) with a sorrowful voice, sings the summers guard, forebodes sorrow, bitter in the breast. That a ghter does not know, well blessed warrior, what some must endure, who go farthest on the exile path. And yet, my heart moves out of my breast my inner heart with the stream of the sea over the whales home I go wide, over the surfaces of the earth often comes to me voracious and greedy, the lonely bird cries, sharpens the heart on the sea (whales way) to the ood of the sea (lake). Therefore to me are dearer (I prefer, hotter are to me) the joys of the lord than this dead life, transient (lean, loan) on the land. I do not believe, that for them (him) the wealth of the earth is eternal (always stands). Always and in every case on of three things leads to sorrow before its time; illness or old age or war takes away the soul of the ill-fated, the dying (man). Therefore for everyone of the leaders the praise of the fterspeakers" in the obituary of the surviving is best, that he may achieve, before he must leave, through achievements on earth against the evil/ envy of the enemies, through courageus deeds against the devil, that all mens children praise him afterwards and his praise since then lives with the angels 10 40

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Igor Fux and Matthias Kasimir always and always, the joy of eternal life, joy with the heavenly angels (army). The days have passed, all luxury of the areas of the earth; There are now not any kings nor emperors, nor gold-givers such as before were, when most of them achieved glorious deeds, and lived in highest esteem. All the group has died, the joys are gone, the weak are alive and rule the earth, keep it by eort (business). Luck has declined, the earths glory has grown old and disintegrated, like every man on middle-earth now. Old age overtakes him, the face turns pale, the grey-haired mourns, he knows (that) his friends of his youth, the children of the nobles, given to the earth (buried). When he is loosing his life, the body can not neither taste sweet nor feel pain, nor move the hand, nor think with the mind. Even if with gold will strew the grave, his brother, born in the same family, bury with the dead, several treasures that he wants to take with him, that soul wich is full of sin gold cannot help against the wrath of god, when he hides it before, as long as he lives here.
Translated by Igor Fux and Matthias Kasimir

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The Seafarer

The Seafarer
About myself I can utter a truth-song, tell journeyshow I in toil-days torment-time often endured, abode and still do bitter breast-care, sought in my ship many a care-hall, horrible waves rolling, where narrow night-watch often has kept me at the ships stem when it dashes by clis. Pinched by the cold were my feet, bound by frosts frozen fetters, where those cares sighed hot about heart; hunger within tore the mind of the sea-weary one. That man knows not, to whom on earth fairest falls, how I, care-wretched, ice-cold sea dwelt on in winter along the exile-tracks, bereaved both of friend and of kin, behung with rime-crystals. Hail showers ew. I heard nothing there but the seas sounding, ice-cold wave. At times the swans song served me for merriment, gannets crying and curlews sound instead of mens laughter, mews singing in place of mead-drink. Storms there beat stone-clis, where starn, icy-feathered, answered and called to them; often the eagle screamed, dew-feathered fowl: no sheltering kinsman brought consolation to a destitute life. Indeed, he little believes it, who owns lifes joy stayed in towns, had few baleful journeys proud and wine-merry, how I, weary, often on sea-path had to abide. Night-shadow darkened; snow fell from the north; rime bound the soil; on earth hail fell, coldest of corns. So, now, thoughts trouble my heart, that I the deep sea, play of salt-waves, should venture myself on. Minds desire urges, ever and again, my spirit to fare, that I, far hence, foreigners, pilgrims, homeland should seek. For there is none so proud in heart over earth, none so good of his gifts nor in youth so keen, in deeds so brave, to him lord so loyal, that ever no sorrow he has of seafaring, 12

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Jonathan A. Glenn of what the LordGods willbrings him to. Nor is his thought on harp or on ring-taking, on womans delight or on the worlds hope, nor on aught else save the tossing of waves: he ever has longing who hastens on water. Groves blossom, make fair the dwellings, brighten the plainsthe world hurries forward: all these urge him, doomed of mind, his spirit to sojourn on which he so minds, to depart far on ood-ways. So the cuckoo urges, mournful of voice; summers ward sings, forebodes for me sorrow, bitter in breast-hoard. That one does not know, man blessed with comfort, what some endure who widest must lay the tracks of the exile. Therefore, now, heart turns beyond its breast-chamber, my minds thought with mere-ood, over the whales home, wide in its turning, over earths regions-comes back to me eager and greedy. Yells the lone-yer, whets on the whale-way spirit quite suddenly over the holms deep: hotter to me are delights of the Lord than this dead life, loaned on the land. I do not believe that this earth-weal still stands eternal. Always one of three things brings into doubt every aair before its due time: illness or old age or else edge-hate wrests life away, fey one fromward. Therefore, praise of the living, of those speaking after, is for each noble one best of words left behind that he so work, before he must away, good actions on earth against malice of ends, brace deeds against devils, that children of men after may praise him, and his glory hereafter live among angels always for ever, eternal lifes splendor, joy among noble ones. Days have departed, all pride of earths kingdom; now are no kings and no kaisers nor any gold-givers such as once were, when they most glorious deeds did among them and then most lordly lived out their doom. 13

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The Seafarer Wanes all this noble host; joys have departed; weaker remain and rule this world, live here aicted. Glory is humbled, honor of earth grows old and withers, as does now every man over this Middle-Earth. Old age fares over him; bright face grows pale; gray-haired, he grieves, knows former friends, sons of the athelings, given to earth. Nor may his esh-home, then, when life is lost to him, sweet swallow nor sore feel, hand stir nor mind think. Though golden he strews the graves of his brothers, buries by dead men manifold treasures, that deed will not go with him : gold is no aid to a soul full of sins in face of Gods terror, his awful power, when he earlier hides it while he lives here. Much is the Measurers power: therefore this earth turns. He established alone sturdy foundations, surface of earth, height of the heavens. Foolish he who fears not his Lord: death comes to him unexpected. Blessed he who lives humbly: favor to him comes from heaven. The Measurer establishes his mind, for he believes in His might. One must steer strong mind, hold it established, wise in its covenants, clean in its ways. Here every man meetly must hold love with the loved one, with loathed one hate. Though he will not lled up with re or burned up on funeral pyre friend he has made, Fate is aye stronger, Measurer mightier, than any mans thought. Let us consider where our true home is; and then let us think how to come thither; and then also strive that we indeed come there, into the blessedness there everlasting, where life is long in love of God, hope in the heavens. So, to the Holy One thanks that he honored us, master of Glory, God of Eternity, in all our time. AMEN.
Translation by Jonathan A. Glenn

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Ezra Pound

The Seafarer
May I for my own self songs truth reckon, Journeys jargon, how I in harsh days Hardship endured oft. Bitter breast-cares have I abided, Known on my keel many a cares hold, And dire sea-surge, and there I oft spent Narrow nightwatch nigh the ships head While she tossed close to clis. Coldly aicted, My feet were by frost benumbed. Chill its chains are; chang sighs Hew my heart round and hunger begot Mere-weary mood. Lest man know not That he on dry land loveliest liveth, List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea, Weathered the winter, wretched outcast Deprived of my kinsmen; Hung with hard ice-akes, where hail-scur ew, There I heard naught save the harsh sea And ice-cold wave, at whiles the swan cries, Did for my games the gannets clamour, Sea-fowls, loudness was for me laughter, The mews singing all my mead-drink. Storms, on the stone-clis beaten, fell on the stern In icy feathers; full oft the eagle screamed With spray on his pinion. Not any protector May make merry man faring needy. This he little believes, who aye in winsome life Abides mid burghers some heavy business, Wealthy and wine-ushed, how I weary oft Must bide above brine. Neareth nightshade, snoweth from north, Frost froze the land, hail fell on earth then Corn of the coldest. Nathless there knocketh now The hearts thought that I on high streams The salt-wavy tumult traverse alone. Moaneth alway my minds lust That I fare forth, that I afar hence Seek out a foreign fastness. For this theres no mood-lofty man over earths midst, Not though he be given his good, but will have in his youth greed; Nor his deed to the daring, nor his king to the faithful 15

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The Seafarer But shall have his sorrow for sea-fare Whatever his lord will. He hath not heart for harping, nor in ring-having Nor winsomeness to wife, nor worlds delight Nor any whit else save the waves slash, Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth on the water. Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty of berries, Fields to fairness, land fares brisker, All this admonisheth man eager of mood, The heart turns to travel so that he then thinks On ood-ways to be far departing. Cuckoo calleth with gloomy crying, He singeth summerward, bodeth sorrow, The bitter hearts blood. Burgher knows not He the prosperous man what some perform Where wandering them widest draweth. So that but now my heart burst from my breast-lock, My mood mid the mere-ood, Over the whales acre, would wander wide. On earths shelter cometh oft to me, Eager and ready, the crying lone-yer, Whets for the whale-path the heart irresistibly, Oer tracks of ocean; seeing that anyhow My lord deems to me this dead life On loan and on land, I believe not That any earth-weal eternal standeth Save there be somewhat calamitous That, ere a mans tide go, turn it to twain. Disease or oldness or sword-hate Beats out the breath from doom-gripped body. And for this, every earl whatever, for those speaking after Laud of the living, boasteth some last word, That he will work ere he pass onward, Frame on the fair earth gainst foes his malice, Daring ado, ... So that all men shall honour him after And his laud beyond them remain mid the English, Aye, for ever, a lasting lifes-blast, Delight mid the doughty. Days little durable, And all arrogance of earthen riches, There come now no kings nor Caesars Nor gold-giving lords like those gone. Howeer in mirth most magnied, 16

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Ezra Pound Whoeer lived in life most lordliest, Drear all this excellence, delights undurable! Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth. Tomb hideth trouble. The blade is layed low. Earthly glory ageth and seareth. No man at all going the earths gait, But age fares against him, his face paleth, Grey-haired he groaneth, knows gone companions, Lordly men are to earth oergiven, Nor may he then the esh-cover, whose life ceaseth, Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry, Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart, And though he strew the grave with gold, His born brothers, their buried bodies Be an unlikely treasure hoard.
Translated by Ezra Pound

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