The Northern Way

The Complete Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Poetry

The Meters of Boethius: Meter 27
Verse Indeterminate Saxon


Hwy ge æfre scylen      unrihtfioungum
eower mod drefan,      swa swa mereflodes
yþa hrerað      iscalde sæ,
wecggað for winde?      Hwy oðwite ge

5

wyrde eowre      þæt hio geweald nafað?
Hwy ge þæs deaðes      þe eow drihten gesceop
gebidan ne magon      bitres gecyndes,
nu he eow ælce dæg      onet toweard?
Ne magon ge gesion      þæt he symle spyreð

10

æfter æghwelcum      eorðan tudre,
diorum and fuglum?      Deað eac swa same
æfter moncynne      geond ðisne middangeard,
egeslic hunta,      a bið on waðe;
nyle he ænig swæð      æfre forlætan

15

ær he gehede      þæt he hwile ær
æfter spyrede.      Is þæt earmlic þing
þæt his gebidan ne magon      burgsittende,
ungesælige men;      hine ær willað
foran to sciotan,      swa swa fugla cyn

20

oððe wildu dior;      þa winnað betwuh,
æghwylc wolde      oðer acwellan.
Ac þæt is unriht      æghwelcum men
þæt he oðerne      inwitþoncum
fioge on færðe,      swa swa fugl oððe dior,

25

ac þæt wære rihtost,      þætte rinca gehwylc
oðrum gulde      edlean on riht,
weorc be geweorhtum      weoruldbuendum
þinga gehwilces,      þæt is, þæt he lufige
godra gehwilcne      swa he geornost mæge,

30

mildsige yflum,      swa we ær spræcon.
He sceal þone monnan      mode lufian,
and his unþeawas      ealle hatian
and ofsniðan,      swa he swiðost mæge.

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