The Wanderer [all]

A poem of great sadness and beauty, the Wanderer is the lament of an exile, longing for the lost days of happiness when he was with his lord. A wise man keeps his thoughts locked in his breast. He recognizes how all the world is fleeting, strong walls standing empty, rime-covered, blasted by storms. The halls are empty because the men are dead, carried off by war, by beasts, buried in graves.

Where is the horse? Where is the rider? Where is the giver of gold? Where are the joys of the hall?

Alas, the bright cup! Alas, the mailed warrior! Alas, the power of the prince. Time has passed, grown dark under the night helm, as if it had never been. Now remains only a trace, a wall, high and decorated. Spears took the men; storms thrash the stones. Snow binds the earth, the winter wind. Then darkness, the shadow of night, hail falls, men fear.

There is much hardship on this earth. Fate changes the world under the heavens. Here wealth is loaned, here a friend is loaned, here a man is loaned, here a kinsman is loaned. All the foundations of the earth stand idle.

Good is he who holds his truth. A man must never recite his sorrow, speak from his breast, unless he knows how to cure himself with courage. Well will it be for him who seeks favor from the father in heaven, where for us the eternal foundation lies.