Old English
Translations


Maxims I


English Translation            Old English      

Freezing shall beget frost,     fire eat wood,
earth grow and swell,     ice bridge over
water wear a helm,     and wondrously lock
seeds into earth.     One shall unbind
frost's fetters:     God, first in might.
Winter shall run off,     good weather come again,
summer swell hot     and the seas unstill.
Death and the dead way     will longest be dark.
Holly shall enflame,     inheritance deal out
from a dead man.
                                   Holy doom will be the best end.

King shall with cattle     and cups and rings
buy a queen.     Both shall foremost be
generous givers.     Gall and war shall wax
within warrior,     and woman shall grow
loved in her land,     be light in mood,
hold secrets close,     heap horses and treasure
with devoted heart,     when dispensing mead
anywhere always     among warriors
herald first     her home's lord,
fill his hand     first with cup,
reaching quickly,     and reason with him wisely,
united both     as housemasters.

Ships shall be nailed,     shields bound
of light linden-board:     her love a welcome guest
to a Frisian's wife     when his floating ship stands docked.

His ship will come     and her man come home,
her own provider,     and she will call him inside,
wash his worn clothes     and wrap him in new robes
lower to him, landed,     what his love bids.

     Forst sceal frosan,     fr wudu meltan,
    eore grwan,     s brycgian
 
   wter helm wegan,     wundrum lcan
 
   eoran čias.     n sceal on-bindan
 
   forstes fetera,     fela-mihtig God;
 
   winter sceal ge-weorpan,     weder eft cuman,
 
   sumor swegle ht,     sund un-stille.
 
   Do dada weg     dierne bi lengest;
 
   holen sceal on-ǽled,     ierfe ge-dǽled
 
   dades mannes.     Dm bi slest.
 
   Cyning sceal mid čae     cwne ge-bycgan,
 
   bunum and bagum;     b sculon ǽrest
 
   giefum gd wesan.     G sceal on eorle,
 
   wg ge-weaxan     and wf ge-on
 
   lof mid hire lodnum,     loht-md wesan,
 
   rne healdan,     rm-heort bn
 
   marum and mmum,     medu-rǽdenne
 
   for ge-s-mgen     simble ǽg-hwǽr
 
   eodor elinga     ǽrest ge-grtan, 
 
   forman fulle     to frn hand
 
   recene ge-rǽčan,     and him rǽd witan,
 
   bold-gendum     bǽm t-samne.
 
   Scip sceal gengled,     scield ge-bundan,
 
   loht linda bord,     lof will-cuma,
 
   Frsan wfe,     onne flota stande;
 
   bi his čol cumen     and hire čeorl to hm,
 
   gen ǽt-giefa,     and ho hine inn laa,
    wsce his wrig hrgl     and him sele wde newe,
    lih him on lande s his lufu bǽde.


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