Page images

Widu on willan,
Went on gecynde.

Swa deth eac sio sunne,
Thonne hio on sige weortheth,
Ofer midne dæg,
Mere condel,
Scyft on ofdæle,

Uncuthne weg
Nihtes genetheth :
North est and east
Eldum oteweth,
Brencth eorth-warum 120
Morgen meie torhtne.
Hio ofer moncyn stihth
A upweardes,
Oth hio eft cymeth,
Thær hire yfemest bith 125
Swa swa ælc gesceaft,
Ealle mægene,
Geond thas widan woruld,
Wrigath and higath, 130
Ealle mægene,
Eft symle on lyt
With his gecyndes,
Cymth to thonne hit mæg.

Nis nu ofer eorthan

Ænegu gesceaft,
The ne wilnie thæt hio,
Wolde cuman.
To tham earde,
The hio of becom,

That is orsorgnes,
And ecu rest:
Thæt is openlice,
Ælmihti God.
Nis nu ofer eorthan 145
Ænegu gesceaft,
The ne hwearíige
Swa swa h weol deth.
On hire selfre ;
Forthon hio swa hwearfath, 150
That hio eft cume,
Thær hio æror was.
Thonne hio ærest sie
Utan behwerfed ;
Thonne hio ealles wyrth 155
Utan becerred ;
Hio sceol eft don
Thæt hio ær dyde,
And eac wesan,
Thæt hio æror was.


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

A lioness may be such

A tame and winsome beast,
That she may love her master much
Or fear him at the least ;

But if she taste of gore
She will be tame no more :

Let it not be thought

That she will then be mild,
But back to her old likings brought
Be as her elders wild,

In earnest break her chain
And rave and roar amain;

Will first her keeper bite,

And then all else beside,
Cattle or men, each living wight,
Will seize, whate'er betide,

All she can find will seize,
Her ravening to appease.

So the wood finches too

Though timely tamed they be,
If to the woods escaped anew
Again they flutter free,

However train'd and taught
Their teachers then are nought :

But wilder evermore

They will not leave the wood, Though by their trainers, as of yore, , Enticed by tempting food;

So merry seem the trees
That meats no more may please.

All winsome then is found

The wide weald sounding strong
With other birds that sing around,
And so, these find their song,

Stunning one's ears with noise
Of their woodland joys.

Thus too, every tree,

Grown high in its own soil, Though thou shalt bend its boughs to be Bow'd to the earth with toil,

Let go, it upward flies

At its free will to rise. Thus also, when the sun,

Great candle of the world, After the mid-day down doth run To unknown darkness hurld,

Again she brings to earth

Bright morn's North Eastern birth. Upward, she ever goes,

Up, to her highest place:
So, every creature kindly grows
According to its race,

And strives with all its might

To take its nature's right.
There is not now one thing

Over this wide earth
That doth not all its longings fling
About its place of birth,

And safely there find rest

In God Almighty blest.
There is not one thing found

Over this wide world
But on itself with endless round
It, like a wheel, is twirld,

So turning to be seen

As it before hath been :
For, when at first it moves,

Right round it turns amain;
And, where it once has gone, behoves
To go that way again;

And, as it was before,
To be so evermore.


Quamvis fluente dives auri gurgite-Non expleturas cogat avarus opes,

[blocks in formation]


Wuhte thon mare


Thonne he hither brohte.


cera thusend ?

Theah thes middan geard.

And this manna cyn,

Sy under sunnan,

Tha se Wisdom tha this lioth asungen hæfde, tha ongan he eft spellian and ewæth.

What is a man the better

A man of worldly mould,
Though he be gainful getter

Of richest gems and gold,
With every kind well filléd
Of goods in ripe array,
And though for him be tilléd
A thousand fields a day?

Though all this middle earth be

Beneath his wealdom thrown, And men and all their worth be

South East and West his own,

He cannot of such treasure

Away with him take aught,

Nor gain a greater measure

Than in his mind he brought.

Wisdom having sung this lay,
Again began his spell to say,-

[blocks in formation]

Though Nero now himself, that evil king

Unrighteous, in his new and glittering robe Deck'd wonderfully for apparelling With gold and gems and many a brightsome thing,

Seem'd to be greatest of this earthly globe, Yet to the wise man was he full of crime

Loathly and worthless in his life's daytime : And though this fiend his darlings would reward

With gifts of rank, my mind I cannot bring To see why he to such should grace afford : Yet if some whiles a foolish king or lord

Will choose the simple all the wise above, A fool himself to be by fools ador'd,

How should a wise man reckon on his love ?


[blocks in formation]

Se the wille anwald agon,
Thonne sceal he ærest tilian
Thæt he his selfes,

age, Anwald innan :

Thy læs hi æfre sie,
His untheawum,
Eall underthyded.
Ado of his mode
Mislicra fela

Thara ymbhogona,
The him unnet sie:
Læte sume hwile
And ermtha thinra.

15 Theah him eall sie, Thes middan geard,

Swa swa mere-streamas
Utan belicgath,
On æht gifen,
Eine swa wide,
Swa swa wesmest nu,
An iglond ligth,
Ut on garsecg,
Thær nængu bith
Niht on sumera,
Ne wuhte thon ma
On wintra daeg
Tote led uidum,
Thæt is Tile haten ;
Theah nu anra hwa
Ealles wealde
Thas iglandes,
And eac thonan


« PreviousContinue »