1 Hwæt ic ana sæt..

beþeht - The better orthography would be beþeaht, but it is not unusual for verbs whose stem ends in cc to drop the second vowel in the participle.

holte tomiddes - The same collocation is found in Alfred's Metres, 13,38.

5 wynwyrta - Though wyn is of common occurrence compounded thus, yet this word seems unique. But wynburg, wynmæg, and other like compounds, are found in plenty.
6 innon - The unsettled orthography is seen by comparing this form with that in line 1, which is the earlier form. The rhyme is also to be noticed in the two sections of this line. Amid the gathering (i.e. of other plants).

gryre - properly horror; but of the inanimate wolcn horror can scarcely be predicated, and therefore the word seems rather to indicate the terrific character or roaring of the wind, and thus almost to be equal to a descriptive adjective.

gehrered, perhaps better = agitated, coming from hreran, rather than hreosan. The more usual word is onhrered.

11 onhefde mid sange = Germ. hub an zu singen
gemunde - an adjective=gemynde for gemyndig. It occurs in Elene, 1064
13 tid - gemyndgian is constructied with both accusative and genitive.
15 Ic ondræde me eac - I also feared. The corresponding verb is reflexive in German too.
22 þara haligra - haligra is here the substantive. Cf. Ps.li.8

MS. yfes
I have written yfel rather than yfeles, because of the case of witu.

27 ontynan - conj. for ontynen. This variation is not uncommon. Thus we have the classic form hæbben in Guthlac (Exon), 644; habban in Ps. lxxxv.16, and habbon in Ps. cxxi.8, each for the present conjunctive.

hate - the adverb.

MS. os


Breost - must be the acc. plur., as the adjective shows.

gebedstowe - one word, though written divism in the MS., cf. Juliana, 376

32 gearnade - i.e. ge-earnade. This past participle is used almost adverbially in the sense of deservedly.
34 wandian - like ontynan, 27
42 breostes, etc. - These genitives depend on gylt understood from the previous clause.
43 hæl, cf. Germ. heil=safety
45 MS. wopa.

MS. aglidene gyltas mod-god gode gehælan

In altering the MS. in this line, all that has been attempted is to keep as near to the written text as possible while giving a reading which can be construed. It seems most likely that the first god had been twice written by some scribe, and that the i of mid was then altered so as to make an adjective mod-god out of the two syllables, after the analogy of mod-ful, mod-þwær, etc. The Latin text helps but little, being qui solet allisos sanare. Aglidene is hopelessly corrupt, but as many of the letters of the word as possible have been preserved. It is thus left to the ingenuity of scholars, the exact letters of the MS. being given above.

49 nele - a more usual form is nelle; nyle also occurs.
50 gemod - apparently the same as mod, though I have not been able to find an instance for it. But the analogy of hygd and gehygd, and similar duplicates, is warrant enough for the meaning.
52 gedwæscan - is not found elsewhere, but the simple verb dwæscan and the compound todwæscan occur. The writer of this poem was fond of ge as prefix, v. lines 4, 8.
53 gesceop - properly the verb signifies to shape, hence to inform, instruct, warn. This metaphorical use is not common.
55 forstent - =forstandeð. The successive changes seem to have been forstandð, forstantð, forstent, the last form also appearing as forstynt. The first words of the next line are seo soðe hreow.
57 sceaða is written four lines above scaþa. Both forms are equally common.
60 be-bead - = bade, i.e. offered, as in the old expression bidding of beads for offering up prayers.
61 lyt - is used generally followed by a genitive, as lyt manna = parum virorum, lyt freonda = parum amicorum. Here we have a construction wherein lyt seems treated as conjoined with wordum, forming a true compound, and therefore having the instrumental case at the end of the whole, after the analogy of such a form as last-word = fame after death.
63 þa ænlican geatu - for this construction of the accusative to mark the way after faran, cf. For flodwegas, Riddles (Exon), 37,9.
66 MS. cystþ
68 gearugne - This form, which occurs again in line91, is not the usual form of the masculine acc.sing., but gearone. The original of gearu was no doubt gearug, cf. supra, 12.
69 atihtum - The weak form atiht as the past participle of ateon marks a late period of the language, the classic form being atogen. The former occurs, however, in Alfred's Boethius, 32,1, Tit. 32. The tendency has developed in the later language, wherein we have cleft and cloven; reft and riven; lost and forlor(e)n, etc.
73 scad - Not found in this simple form; but as gescad, gescead, it is frequent enough. The like phrase to the text occurs in Matt. xii. 35: Gescead agyldan.

horwe - a very rare word.

afylled - constructed both with a genitive and (as here) a dative.

79 gyte - a flood: still preserved in the Northern form goit or goyt, used for the overflow of a milldam, and the channel along which such overflow is conducted.

beþunga - The only form in which the nominative is recorded is beþing, but the interchange of i and u in this termination is very common, cf. wearnung and wearning.

plaster - is a word of late introduction and rare occurrence.

82 greotan - the usual word in Lowland Scotch for shedding tears still is to greet. Here is another rhyming line.
83 þa hwile - the accusative case used adverbially. The more common form is þa hwile þe, followed, as here, by the conjunctive in expressions of indefinitive time.
84 nu is halwende - i.e. Nu hit is halwende. The complete expression occurs in Ps. cxviii.103
86 gnorn þrowast - The phrase occurs in Beow. 2658
89 men - =menn=männ. Dative singular.

forhyccan - i.e. forycgan, the c having assimilated the g to itself, a very irregular form, for cc generally represents a previous cc, and cg=gg a previsous gi.

heaf and wopas - The combination is common, but the form is more frequently wop and heaf.

94 MS. hit
95 heah-þrymme - Perhaps this ought to be heah-þrymmes, but as it stands it is capable of the rendering given to it in the translation.
99 The alliteration in this line and the next is imperfect, and I am not sure that they should not be written all in one.
101 Beorghlið - as a compound, occurs, but the genitive plural beorga is much more frequently used of graves, and so the sense seems to be, the doors (hlið=lid) of the graves, rather than the meaning of the compound = hill slopes, to which the verbs would not so well apply.

MS. sæ

The correction here is not needed. The genitive of is sometimes (f.), sometimes sæs (m.).

104 bið - This word has been translated here and elsewhere is, but in many places will be, according as the sense seemed to require. The Saxon having no future was compelled to use this tense or both present and future, and perhaps it may most strictly be termed a sort of aorist.

MS. geþuxsað

gewuxsað - If this emendation be correct (and the difference between the þ and the Saxon form of w is so slight as to be easily confused), the word is for the more usual form geweaxeð.

106 dim hiw - I have not varied the text here, though we probably should read hiwe as a dative after the adjective. but the words may be intended to make one compound adjective of the form bærfot, mildheort, eaðmod. This being possible, I have allowed them to stand.
107 Then the stars fall from their stede (or place).
110 flecgan - This is the reading of the MS. The correct orthography would be flegan (or flygan), a derivative from fleogan, as began from beogan.
112 Literally = mortem indicantes, and might = angels of the death.

eored-heapas - I have not found this compound elsewhere, though similar compounds with eored are in use, as eored-ciest, eored-þreat, etc.

In the translation I have regarded upplice as an adverb, but I think it would be more forcible if taken as the adjective agreeing with eored-heapas, and the whole rendered the legions of heaven.

114 stiþ-mægen - This compound does not appear elsewhere, but is quite in accordance with other forms from stið.
117 sigel-beorht - Sigel being used for the sun, and also for a gem or jewel, the compund is capable of a double interpretation. The Latin text has fulget sublimis in alto.
118 weorðian - is not recorded elsewhere as compounded with be, the compound form is geworðian in other places.
120 æghwanum - a later form of the more classic and usual æghwanon.

stent - = standeð (v. supra 55). The form occurs in Alf. Metr. xx. 171. It has of course, though present, an idea of the future, which is made more vivid by the use of this tense.

earh - a later form for earg.

125 amasod and amarod - I cand find no instance of the use of these words or of any verbs from which they may have come. amarod seems cognate with amyrred, the pariciple of amyrran, to distract, mar.
126 MS. sweges
127 surround - i.e. they will surround. ymtrymmað for ymb- (or ymbe-) trymmað.
128 aboden - We should have expected the form to be abeden.
129 MS. eorbuendra
139 þinga - governed by eal in 136
141 ypte oððe cyðde, for the combination of the two verbs, cf. Bed. iv. 25, and iv.27
143 alyfed - = concessum, yielded up, set open to every eye.
144 Ufenan - generally means from above, and there is not a parallel to the phrase in the text, yet there can be little doubt that ufenan eall þis is meant to represent the insuper of the Latin. The same words occur again, lines 212 and 221, to represent the same Latin of lines 106 and 138.
145 lyft - As the Lowland Scotch has the same word still for heaven, it has been retained in the translation, though not an usual word in English. It seems a pity not to familarize as much as may be such relics of the old tongue in whatever dialect they may be found, when no attempt is being made to translate into classical English.

miht - The more usual form of the instrumental case is mihte, but miht occurs in Exod. ix.: "soðfæst cyning mid his sylfes miht geyrðode."


MS. eeal


MS. eah

On this line a friend has suggested to me that the reading of the MS. eah-gemearces, may be a compound form, after the analogy of eagðyrl, eagdura, and mean eye-boundary, horizon. Had this occurred to me, I should not have suggested any other reading, feeling bound, in every case where it is possible, to render the text, rahter than correct it. The like change of g to h has been instancced above, line 124. The Latin text seems to mean the limitless expanse of air.

149 under roderes ryne - the expression occurs in Elene, 795