DEOR

diacritically-marked text and facing translation

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last updated on 26-Nov-2005

click here on the lyre: sydaudio to listen to Prof. Robert Fulk read Deor in Old English (from the Norton Online Archive)

Wélund him be wurm{a}     wráeces cunnade

 

Weland, from serpents,      experienced misery,
anhýdig eorl,     earfoþa dréag,

 

the resolute warrior,      he endured hardships,
hæfde him tó gesíþþe     sorge ond longaþ,

 

had as companions to him,      sorrow and longing,
wintercealde wræce,     wéan oft onfond

 

wintry-cold exile,      he often found woes
siþþan hine Níðhád on     néde legde

5

after Nithhad upon him     laid a compulsion,
swoncre seonobende     on syllan monn.

 

supple bounds on sinew      on a better man.
    Þæs oferéode,     ðisses swá mæg.

 

    As that passed away,      so may this.
Beadohilde ne wæs     hyre bróþra déaþ

 

For Beadohild was not      her brothers' death
on sefan swá sár     swá hyre sylfre þing,

 

in her mind so grievous      as her own condition,
þæt héo gearolíce     ongieten hæfde

10

that she clearly      had seen
þæt héo éacen wæs;     áefre ne meahte

 

that she was swollen with child;      she could never
þríste geþencan     hú ymb þæt sceolde.

 

think confidently      what must (be done) about that.
    Þæs oferéode,     ðisses swá mæg.

 

    As that passed away,      so may this.
Wé þæt Máeðhilde     monge gefrugnon

 

That for Maethhild, of us      many have heard
wurdon grundléase     Géates fríge,

15

that boundless became      Geat's desire,
þæt hi{m} séo sorglufu     sláep ealle binóm.

 

that him this sad love      entirely deprived of sleep.
    Þæs oferéode,     ðisses swá mæg.

 

    As that passed away,      so may this.
Ðéodríc áhte     þrítig wintra

 

Theodric held      for thirty winters
Máeringa burg;     þæt wæs mongegum cúþ.

 

the stronghold of the Maerings;      that was known to many.
    Þæs oferéode,     ðisses swá mæg.

20

    As that passed away,      so may this.
Wé geáscodan     Eormanríces

 

We learned      of Eormanric's
wylfenne geþóht;     áhte wíde folc

 

wolfish mind;      he ruled people far and wide
Gotena ríces.     Þæt wæs grim cyning.

in the kingdom of the Goths.      That was a savage king.
Sæt secg monig     sorgum gebunden

 

Many a warrior sat,      bound in sorrows,
wéan on wénan,     wýscte geneahhe

25

expecting woe,      often wished
þæt þæs cyneríces     ofercumen wáere.

 

that his kingdom      would be overcome.
    Þæs oferéode,     ðisses swá mæg.

 

    As that passed away,      so may this.
Siteð sorgcearig     sáelum bidáeled,

A man sits sorrowful,      bereft of joys,
on sefan sweorceð,     sylfum þinceð

 

in his soul it grows dark,      it seems to him
þæt sý endeléas     earfoða dæl.

30

that endless is      his portion of sufferings.
Mæg þonne geþencan     þæt geond þás woruld

 

He may then think      that throughout this world
wítig dryhten     wendeþ geneahhe,

 

the wise Lord      often makes changes,
eorle monegum     áre gescéawað

to many men      honours are shown,
wislícne bláed,     sumum wéana dáel.

 

true fame,      to some a portion of woe.
Þæt ic bí mé sylfum     secgan wille

35

This of my self I      wish to say--
þæt ic hwíle wæs     Heodeninga scop

 

that for a time I was      the gleeman of the Heodenings,
dryhtne dýre.     Mé wæs Déor noma;

 

dear to my lord.      'Deor' was my name;
áhte ic fela wintra     folgað tilne,

I had for many winters      a good employment,
holdne hláford     oþ þæt Heorrenda nú

 

a gracious lord,      until now Heorrenda,
léoðcræftig monn     londryht geþáh

40

a song-skilled man,      received the land-rights
þæt mé eorla hléo     áer gesealde.

 

that to me the protector of earls      had given before.
    Þæs oferéode,     ðisses swá mæg.

 

    As that passed away,      so may this.