Widsith [all]

Widsith opened his treasury of words and spoke about his journey among most of the peoples of the earth. He began to say many things:

“I have heard of many princes, and here is a long list of them and the tribes they ruled. I discuss how great Offa was, and I mention Hrothwulf and Hrothgar as uncle and nephew [thus drawing thousands of Beowulf scholars to this text]. H rothwulf and Hrothgar kept peace for a long time [does this mean they then fought against each other?] after they had driven away the Vikings and defeated Ingeld and crushed the Heathobards at Heorot.

I traveled through many foreign lands and experience good and evil. I can sing and tell stories, so many princes have rewarded me.

I was with Huns and Goths and Swedes and Geats and another very long list of Germanic peoples. I received a gold collar from Guthhere, the ruler of the Burgundians.

I’ve also been with Franks and Frisians and various other peoples, including Ælfwine son of Eadwine, who was very generous.

Also, Scotts, Picts and many others, including [surprisingly] the Hebrews, Assyrians, Indians and Egyptians, Medes and Persians. And others.

I was with Eormanric while he was king of the Goths. He gave me a collar worth a great deal of gold, and I gave this to Eadgils, who protected me and was my lord. Then Ealhhild, Eadwine’s daughter, gave me another collar. When I sang along with Scilling, everyone said they had never heard a better singer.

Then I traveled through the land of the Goths and visited many people, a long list of them, in fact. The Goths often had to defend their ancient seat near the Vistula river against the attacks of the men of Atilla.

I visited some other men, including Hama, and he and others were not bad comrades even though I list them last.

I have always found that the man who is king by the grace of God turns out to be the most acceptable to the people.”

In this way, the entertainers of the people wander through many lands. They declare needs and speak thanking words. They always meet people who wish to improve their own reputations by giving generous gifts. A song will remain even when all else disappears, light and life together. This man deserves glory and will keep his fame always under the heavens.