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                       The Anglo - Saxon Rune Poem 
                            By:  Steph Parker
 Anyway, here is the Anglo-Saxon Rune poem.  The OE version is in West
 Saxon though the spelling hasn't been regulised (though I'm using the
 standard 'ae' for 'ash' and 'th' for 'thorn' and 'eth').  The transla-
 tion will be Anthony E. Farnham's from A Sourcebook in the History of
 English as it's much too late for me to bother doing my own and I'll be
 too busy over the next few days.
 Where the number '7' appears that is the Old English equivalent of the
 ampersand (&) and should be read as 'and' or 'ond'.
 One last point - the poem here has not been proofread so there is a
 chance that there are errors in the transcription (particularly with
 ommission of the letter 'e' as there is a slight problem with my
 Feoh byth frofur     fira gehwylcum -
 sceal theah manna gehwylc     miclun hyt daelan
 gif he wile for drihtne     domes hleotan.
 (Wealth is a joy to every man -
     but every man must share it well
     if he wish to gain glory in the sight of the Lord.)
 Ur byth anmod     7 oferhyrned,
 felafrecne deor,     feohteth mid hornum,
 maere morstapa:    thaet is modiy wuht!
 (Aurochs is fierce, with gigantic horns,
     a very savage animal, it fights with horns,
     a well-known moor-stepper: it is a creature of courage!)
 THorn byth thearle scearp,    thegna gehwylcum
 anfeng ys yfyl,     ungemetun rethe
 manna gehwylcun     the him mid resteth.
 (Thorn is very sharp, harmful to every man
     who seizes it, unsuitably severe
     to every man who rests on it.)
 Os byth ordfruma     aelcre spraece,
 wisdomes wrathu     and witena frofur
 and eorla gehwam     eadnys and tohiht.
 (Os is the creator of all speech,
     a supporter of wisdom and comfort of wise men,
     and a blessing aand hope to every man.)
 Rad byth on recyde     rinca gehwylcum
 sefte, and swithhwaet     tham the sitteth onufan
 meare maegenheardum     ofer milpathas.
 (Journey is to every warrior in the hall
     pleasant, and bitingly tough to him who sits
     on a might steed over the mile-paths.)
 Cen byth cwicera gehwam     cuth on fyre,
 blac and beorhtlic,     byrneth oftust
 thaer hi aethelingas     inne restath.
 (Torch is to every living thing known by its fire;
     bright and brilliant, it burns most often
     where the princes take their rest within.)
 Gyfu gumena byth     gleng and herenys,
 wrathu 7 wyrthscype,     7 wraecna gehwam
 ar and aetwist     the byth othra leas.
 (Generosity of men is an ornament and praise,
     support and dignity, magnificence and existence
     to every suffering man, who is otherwise destitute.)
 Wenne bruceth     the can weana lyt,
 sares and sorge,     and him sylfa haefth
 blaed 7 blysse     and eac byrga geniht.
 (Joy he possesses who knows few woes,
     pain and sorrow, and has for himself
     prosperity and bliss, and also the abundance found in the fortified
 dwellings of men.)
 Haegl byth hwitust corna,     hwyrft hit of heofones lyfte,
 wealcath hit windes scura,     weortheth hit to waetere syththan.
 (Hail is the whitest of seeds, it comes down from the air of heaven,
     the gusts of wind toss it about, afterward it turns to water.)
 Nyd byth nearu on breostan:     weortheth hi theah oft nitha bearnum
 to helpe and to haele gehwaethre,     gif hi his hlystath aeror.
 (Necessity is oppressive to the heart: yet it often becomes for the
 children of men a help and salvation for each, if they have hearkened
 unto it.)
 Is byth oferceald,     ungemetum slidor,
 glisnath glaeshluttur     gimmum gelicust,
 flor forste geworuht,     faeger ansyne.
 (Ice is extremely cold, excessively slippery,
     it glistens glass-clear, most like to gems,
     it is a floor wrought by frost, fair of sight.)
 Ger byth gumena hiht,     thon God laeteth,
 halig heofones cyning,     hrusan syllan
 beorhte bleda     beornum and thearfum.
 (Year (the growing season) is the hope of men, when God,
     holy king of heaven, causes the earth to give forth
     shining fruits to wealthy and to needy.)
 Eoh byth utan     unsmethe treow,
 heard hrusan faest,     hyrde fyres,
 wyrtrumun underwrethyd,     wynn on ethle.
 (Yew is a tree with unsmooth bark,
     hard and fast in the earth, keeper of fire,
     supported by roots, a joy in the land.)
 Peorth byth symble     plega and hlehter
 wlancum [and wisum],     thar wigan sittath
 on beorsele     blithe aetsomne.
 (Peorth is always sport and laughter
     to the noble [and the wise], where men sit
     together in merriment in the mead-hall.)
 Eolhx secg eard haefth     oftust on fenne,
 wexeth on wature,     wundath grimme,
 blode breneth     beorna gehwylcne
 the him aenigne     onfeng gedeth.
 (Eolhx-sedge has its home most often in the marsh,
     it grows in the water, wounds cruelly,
     darkens with blood every man
     who touches it in any way.)
 Sigel semannum     symble bith on hihte,
 thonn hi hine feriath     ofer fisces beth,
 oth hi brimhengest     bringeth to lande.
 (Sun is always a hope to seamen,
     when they guide the sea-steed over the fish's bath
     until it carries them to land.)
 Tir bith tacna sum:     healdeth trywa wel
 with aethelingas,     a bith on faerylde
 ofer nihta genipu,     naefre swiceth.
 (Tir is a sign to remember: it holds faith well
     with princes, is always on course
     above the mists of the nights, it never wanders or deceives.)
 Beorc byth bleda leas,     bereth efne swa theah
 tanas butan tudder,     bith on telgum wlitig,
 heah on helme     hrysted faegere,
 geloden leafum,     lyfte getenge.
 (Birch (referring to the poplar?) is seedless, yet without fruit it
     puts forth sprouts; it is beautiful with its branches,
     lofty in its crown, fairly adorned,
     sprung from shoots, pressing aloft.)
 Eh byth for eorlum     aethelinga wyn,
 hors hofum wlanc,     thar him haelethe ymb
 welege on wicgum     wrixlath spraece,
 7 bith unstyllum     aefre frofur.
 (Horse in the presence of warriors is a joy to princes,
     a steed proud of its hoofs, where mounted men
     and wealthy exchange speech about him,
     and is ever a joy to the restless.)
 Man byth on myrgthe     his magan leof -
 sceal theah anra gehwylc     othrum swican;
 fortham Dryhten wyle     dome sine
 thaet earme flaesc     eorthan betaecan.
 (Man in merriment is beloved of his fellow -
     yet shall every one betray the other;
     for this reason God wills by his decree
     that the unhappy flesh be committed to the earth.)
 Lagu byth leodum     langsum gethuht,
 gif hi sculun nethan     on nacan tealtum
 7hi saeytha     swythe bregath
 and se brimhengest     bridles ne gymeth.
 (Sea is to men a thing which seems everlasting,
     if they must dare to venture on the unsteady and untrustorthy ship
     and the sea-waves greatly terrify them
     and the sea-steed cares not for its bridle.)
 Ing waes aerest     mid Eastdenum
 gesewen secgun,     oth he siththan est
 ofer waeg gewat;     waen aefter ran.
 THus Heardingas     thone haele nemdun.
 (Ing was first among the East-Danes
     visible to men, until he later eastward
     departed over the sea; his chariot followed him.
     Thus did the Heardings invoke that hero.)
 AEthel byth oferleof     aeghwylcum men,
 gif he mot thaer rigtes     and gerysena on
 brucan on bolde     bleadum oftast.
 (Homeland is most precious to every man,
     if he may therein enjoy justice and courtesies
     in his house, in frequent and abundant prosperity.)
 Daeg byth Drihtnes sond,     deore mannum,
 maere Metodes leoht,     myrgth and tohiht
 eadgum and earmum,     eallum brice.
 (Day is the envoy of the Lord, dear to men,
     the great light of God, happiness and hope
     to blessed and to miserable, an enjoyment for all.)
 Ac byth on eorthan     elda bearnum
 flaesces fodor,     fereth gelome
 ofer ganotes baeth:     garsecg fandath
 hwaether ac haebbe     aethele treowe.
 (Oak is for the children of men on earth
     a provider of meat (acorns are food for swine); it journeys
     over the bath of the gannet: Neptune the spearman proves
     if the oak keep faith in honorable fashion.)
 AEsc bith oferheah,     eldum dyre,
 stith on stathule,     stede rihte hylt
 theah him feohtan on     firas monige.
 (Ash (used for spears) is very tall, precious to men,
     stubborn in standing, holds its place well
     even though many men attack it.)
 Yr byth aethelinga     7 eorla gehwaes
 wyn and wyrthmynd,     byth on wicge faeger,
 faestlic on faerelde,     fyrdgeatewa sum.
 (Yr is for every prince and noble
     a joy and an hononr, it is fair on a horse,
     dependable on an expedition, a fine piece of military equipage.)
 Ior byth eafixa,     and theah a bruceth
 fodres on foldan;     hafath faegerne eard,
 waetre beworpen,     thaer he wynnum leofath.
 (Ior is of the river-fish, and yet always partakes
     of food on land; it has a fair home,
     surrounded by water, where it dwells in joy.)
 Ear byth egle     eorla gehwylcun
 thonn faestlice     flaesc onginneth
 hraw colian,     hrusan ceosan
 blac to gebeddan:     bleda gedreosath,
 wynna gewitath,     wera geswicath.
 (Earth is loathsome to every man
     when relentlessly the flesh, the carrion body,
     begins to cool, lividly to accept marriage
     to its fellow dust: blossoms fall,
     joys pass away, friendships fail.)
 Wyrd wes eower weard.

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