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Deor (Translation)

Keith Moul
Knowing wretchedness,     Welund moved near snakes.
Lone-minded man     muted to pain,
He cleaved to his sorrow     coldest vengeance
Through winter's longing,     having watched in anguish
As Nithhad bound him     with knotted sinews,
Annulled all mastery     of the better man.

That passed over ...     and so this may!

Not brothers' deaths,     but her belly swollen
And plump from plowing     appalled this Beadohild,
Whom Welund had weighted     a pitiable way:
Never bold, now bred,     with bearing close,
Distress drugged     and reason deserted her.

That passed over...     and so this may!

We heard rape's outrage     as ruin fell to song,
Hate-words; yet heartless     by the hurt of Nithhad
Who, slitting the flesh,     slept sorrowfully.

That passed over...     and so this may!

The Maerings' stronghold     shook steadily
Full thirty winters     in Theodoric’s trust.

That passed over...     and so this may!

Asking of Eormanric     we heard but evil
Of his wolfish ways,     how widely his sway
Grieved Goths in the kingdom--     that grimmest of kings!
Many a man sat,     sorrow-bound,
Watchful for misery;     wished many a time
That his country's nightmare     might be overcome.

That passed over...     and so this may!

And still he sits     liege to sorrow,
Darkened in heart,      doling himself
What surely seems     an endless share of woe.
Yet the world's turning     works into his mind—
The wicked lord     falls before the wise,
Grants by his absence     honor to the abject man,
Power to the weak,     pain to his fallen hinds.

So that I of myself     wish to say
That once I sang     as the Heodenings' scop
To my dear prince.     Deor was my name.
Many winters I ruled     rightly from my place,
Ruled the high lord--     until Heorrenda now,
He skilled in song,     received my whole estate,
That I had never stained     since bestowed on me.

That passed over...     and so this may!

Copyright © Keith Moul, 2011.
All rights reserved.