The Northern Way

The Complete Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Poetry

The Meters of Boethius: Meter 9
Verse Indeterminate Saxon


Hwæt, we ealle witon      hwelce ærleste
ge neah ge feor      Neron worhte,
Romwara cyning,      þa his rice wæs
hehst under heofonum,      to hryre monegum.

5

Wælhreowes gewed      wæs ful wide cuð,
unrihthæmed,      arleasta fela,
man and morðor,      misdæda worn,
unrihtwises      inwidþoncas.
He het him to gamene      geara forbærnan

10

Romana burig,      sio his rices wæs
ealles eðelstol.      He for unsnyttrum
wolde fandian      gif þæt fyr meahte
lixan swa leohte      and swa longe eac,
read rasettan,      swa he Romane

15

secgan geherde      þæt on sume tide
Troia burg      ofertogen hæfde
lega leohtost,      lengest burne
hama under hefonum.      Næs þæt herlic dæd,
þæt hine swelces gamenes      gilpan lyste,

20

þa he ne earnade      elles wuhte,
buton þæt he wolde      ofer werðiode
his anes huru      anwald cyðan.
Eac hit gesælde      æt sumum cierre
ðæt se ilca het      ealle acwellan

25

þa ricostan      Romana witan
and þa æþelestan      eorlgebyrdum
þe he on þæm folce      gefrigen hæfde,
and on uppan      agene broðor
and his modor mid      meca ecgum,

30

billum ofbeatan.      He his bryde ofslog
self mid sweorde,      and he symle wæs
micle þe bliðra      on breostcofan
þonne he swylces morðres      mæst gefremede.
Nalles sorgode      hwæðer siððan a

35

mihtig drihten      ametan wolde
wrece be gewyrhtum      wohfremmendum,
ac he on ferðe fægn      facnes and searuwa
wælriow wunode.      Wiold emne swa þeah
ealles þisses mæran      middangeardes,

40

swa swa lyft and lagu      land ymbclyppað,
garsecg embegyrt      gumena rice,
secgea sitlu,      suð, east and west,
oð ða norðmestan      næssan on eorðan;
eall þæt Nerone      nede oððe lustum,

45

heaðorinca gehwilc,      heran sceolde.
He hæfde him to gamene,      þonne he on gylp astag,
hu he eorðcyningas      yrmde and cwelmde.
Wenst ðu þæt se anwald      eaðe ne meahte
godes ælmihtiges      þone gelpscaðan

50

rice berædan      and bereafian
his anwaldes      ðurh þa ecan meaht,
oððe him his yfeles      elles gestioran?
Eala, gif he wolde,      ðæt he wel meahte,
þæt unriht him      eaðe forbiodan!

55

Eawla, þæt se hlaford      hefig gioc slepte
sware on þa swyran      sinra ðegena,
ealra ðara hæleða      þe on his tidum
geond þas lænan worold      liban sceoldon.
He on unscyldgum      eorla blode

60

his sweord selede      swiðe gelome;
ðær wæs swiðe sweotol,      þæt we sædon oft,
þæt se anwald ne deð      awiht godes
gif se wel nele      þe his geweald hafað.

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