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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Deor’s Lament

By Anglo-Saxon Literature

Translation of Francis Barton Gummere

WAYLAND often wandered in exile,

doughty earl, ills endur’d,

had for comrades care and longing,

winter-cold wandering; woe oft found

since Nithhad brought such need upon him,—

laming wound on a lordlier man.

That pass’d over,—and this may, too!

In Beadohild’s breast, her brothers’ death

wrought no such ill as her own disgrace,

when she had openly understood

her maidhood vanished; she might no wise

think how the case could thrive at all.

That pass’d over,—and this may, too!

We have heard enough of Hild’s disgrace;

heroes of Geat were homeless made,

and sorrow stole their sleep away.

That pass’d over,—and this may, too!

Theodoric held for thirty winters

Mæring’s burg, as many have known.

That pass’d over,—and this may, too!

We have also heard of Ermanric’s

wolfish mind; wide was his sway

o’er the Gothic race,—a ruler grim.

Sat many a man in misery bound,

waited but woe, and wish’d amain

that ruin might fall on the royal house.

That pass’d over,—and this may, too!

Sitteth one sighing, sunder’d from happiness;

all’s dark within him; he deems forsooth

that his share of evils shall endless be.

Let such bethink him that thro’ this world

mighty God sends many changes:

to earls a plenty honor he shows,

ease and bliss; to others, sorrow.

Now I will say of myself, and how

I was singer once to the sons of Heoden,

dear to my master, and Deor was my name.

Long were the winters my lord was kind,

happy my lot,—till Heorrenda now

by grace of singing has gained the land

which the “haven of heroes” erewhile gave me.

That pass’d over,—and this may, too!