Maxims I [III], lines 138-204 [end]

Advice must be said, secrets written, a song sung; fame is to be earned, judgment pronounced, the day be busy.

A good man knows and examines a tame and round-hoofed horse. No man can get too much. A man must well hold a friend in every way. Often a man fares far from town, where he does not know to find a friend. Friendless, an unhappy man takes with him the wolves as companions, treacherous beasts. Full often his companion attacks him. Fear is for the gray ones, the grave for the dead men. The gray one, the wolf, will lament for hunger, and it will circle the grave. Nor indeed will it weep on account of the slaughter, for the men violently killed, but it always wants more.

A wound must be wound, a hard man avenged. A bow must have an arrow, and both together must have a man to accompany them. Treasure rewards another; a man must give gold. God may give riches to owners and take them away afterwards. A hall must stand, and grow old.

A fallen tree grows least.

A tree must broaden, and truth increase, it arises in the breast of innocents. A faithless and reckless man, poison-hearted and false-hearted — God does not watch over him. The Ruler shaped many things, that which long ago which happened, he commands it to be afterwards.

Wise words are fitting for everybody. To the singer the song and to the man wisdom. As many as there are men on earth, so are there thoughts, each has his special ones. The man longs less who knows many songs, or knows how to play the harp with hands, has a gift for music which God gave to him.

Wretched is he who must live alone, to him fate has commanded that he dwell friendless. Better for him if he had a brother, both of them from one man, the heirs of an earl, if they must both go against a boar: that is a death-handed animal. The warriors must always carry gear and sleep together. Never may they be hindered by speech, before they are parted by death.

The two must sit at the gameboard, until their troubles glide from them, forget their sad happenings, have for themselves a game on the board. Idle hands are good enough for the nothing-to-do man when he is accomplishing dice-throwing.

Seldom in a wide ship, unless it runs under sail . . . weary is he who rows against the wind. Often for the weary man slothfulness increases, so that he loses valor, drags his oar on the board. Cheating goes with foul play, skill with fairness; you cast the taken stone. Often they throw words before they turn their backs. A ready man is always counseled.

Feuding has come in among mankind since the earth swallowed Abel’s blood. That was not one-day violence: from the blood-drops great wickedness spread widely among men, among many peoples, bale-blind enmity. Cain slew his dear brother, then plotted killing. It was widely known afterward that eternal hatred caused harm among men, the citizen endured the strife of weapons, widely around the earth, inventing and tempering the wounding swords.

The war-board must be ready, the spear in the shaft, the edge on the sword, and the point on the spear, the spirit in the hard men. The helm must be for the keen one, and always to the man of poor spirit, the least of treasure.

Maxims I [II], lines 71-137

Frost must freeze, fire melt wood, the earth grow, ice bridge, water wear a covering, wondrously lock the shoots in the earth. The many-powered God alone must unbind the frost’s fetter. Winter shall depart, water come after, summer heated by the sun. The unstill waves, the deep paths of the dead, will be secret longest.

Holly must be burned, the inheritance of a dead man shared. Judgment is best.

The king shall with money purchase a queen, with cups and rings; both must first be good with gifts. The spirit must be in an earl, to grow in courage, and the woman to thrive in love with her people, be cheerful-minded, hold counsel, be roomy-hearted, with horses and treasures, at the meadcompany, before companion-protection always at all times, go first to greet the noble one, first fully to the lord’s hand, know counsel, and know advice for him, the owners of the homestead both together.

A ship must be nailed, a shield bound, the light linden board.

The dear one is welcomed by the Frisian woman, when the ship is drawn up, his boat is come, and her man is home, her own breadgiver, and she calls him in, washes his dirty raiment, and gives him new clothes, gives him on the land what his love demands. Many are faithful; many are curious, they love foreign men, when the other departs far away.

A seaman is long on a journey. Always a man must abide, he who loves to return, unless he may not go, until he again has a chance to come home, if he is hale and safe, unless the sea prevents him; the ocean, the joy of the raiders, has him in hands.

A merchant buys from the king a place for men, when the ship comes, uses wood and water, when he has given quarters, buys food, if he needs more, before he becomes too faint.

Sick is he who too seldom eats. Though he may be led into the sun, he may not live in the weather. Though it is warm in the summer, he is overcome before he dies, if he does not know someone to feed him. Strength must be fed with food, murder befalls under the earth, hidden under the earth, by him who wished to hide it. That is not a decent death, when it is kept secret.

The humble shall bow, languish in sickness. The right will grow strong. Advice is the most useful, evil the least useful; he who chooses that is misled. Goodness is enough and it is close to God. Mind must be held, hand wielded, seeing is in the eye, wisdom in the heart, that is where the thoughts of men are.

Each mouth needs food. Meals must take place on time.

It is right for gold to be on a man’s sword, the beautiful victory-blade; treasure on a queen; a good poet for the men; the warriors defend against war, hold the peaceplace. A warrior shall have a shield, an arrow for a criminal, a ring shall be for a bride, books for a learner, the eucharist for a holy man. For the heathen, sins.

Woden made idols, the Almighty made heaven, the roomy skies, that is the god of the lands, the true king himself, the savior of souls, who gave us all that we live on, and again at the end will rule all, the kin of men. That is the ruler himself.

Maxims I [1], lines 1-70

[N.B.: Re-recorded with the correct filter now]

Question me with wise words. Do not let your spirit be hidden, what you know remain the deepest secret. I do not wish to tell my secret to you if you hide your spirit-strength and your heart-thoughts from me. Wise men should exchange sayings. God, our father, must first be praised fairly, because he in the beginning us life and free will: he wishes to remind us of these loans.

The Measurer must be in glory, man must be on earth, the young grow old. God is eternal for us; fate does not turn him, nor trouble him at all, the almighty, nor sickness nor age. He does not age in spirit, but he is always as he was, the patient Lord. He gives us thought, various personalities, many languages. Many spirit- kinds, over the wide fathoms, many islands. The Measurer, almighty God, raised spacious lands for mankind, very many people and customs.

A meeting must be achieved, the wise with the wise; their minds will be alike; always they will resolve trouble, preach peace, when earlier discontents have disturbed it. Counsel must be with wisdom, righteousness with the wise, good must be with good.

Two are matched; man and woman must in the world birth a child with childbirth.

A tree must shed leaves on earth, the branches mourn. The farer must set forth, the fated one perish, and every day take portions of his separation from the middle-earth. God alone knows where the death goes when it departs from our knowledge.

A newborn adds to what disease takes, so that there remains on earth just so many of the kin of men, nor would there be a limit to the increase of family over the earth if he did not diminish them, he who made the world.

Foolish is he who does not know his Lord; to him death often comes unplanned. Wise men guard souls, hold their truth with rightness. Fortunate is he who thrives in his birthplace, wretched he who betrays his friend. Never shall he thrive, he whose provisions diminish; need shall bind him for a while. Happy must be the baleless heart.

The blind one shall miss his eyes, clear sight is taken from him. Nor may he see the stars, the heaven-clear sun and moon; so that to him is the sorrow in the heart, painful when he alone knows it, nor does he expect that to him a turning might come. The Ruler made that punishment for him; he may give him relief, healing of the head-gems, if he knows his heart is clean.

A sick man needs a doctor.

A young man must be taught, brought into line, and encouraged so that he fully knows, until he may have been tamed. Give him food and clothing until he may be led to wisdom, nor shall he be called ‘childyoung’ before he may make himself known; so shall he thrive among the people, so that he becomes courage-minded.

A strong heart must be steered. A storm often brings the ocean into a grim condition, fallow waves begin to angrily strive to fare onto the land, to see whether it stands fast. The cliffs hold them there, the wind is weakened upon them. As the sea is peaceful when the wind does not wake, likewise the people are peaceful when they have assemblies. They sit in a sound meeting, and then, with companions, brave men will hold the reaches.

A king is eager for ruling. He hates the one who claims land, loves the one who offers more. Power must go with pride, boldness with sharpness of mind; both must decide to seek battle. An earl belongs on the back of a horse. A troop must ride in a company, a foot-soldier stand fast. A woman belongs at her embroidery.

Words spring up around a wide-going woman. Often men slander her with woe, men speak of her with hate. Often her face is darkened. A shamed man must turn in the shadows.

Bright things rise in the light. The head must control the hand, the hoard abide where it is laid, the gift-throne stand adorned, until men deal it out. Avid is he who receives the gold. The man on the high seat has enough. We must repay, if we do not wish to lie, him who gave us these favors.

The Fortunes of Men [all]

Very often it happens, through God’s might, that man and woman bring into the world a child by birth and clothe him in colors, teach him and tame him until the time comes, after a number of years, that the young limbs become quickened and the child is grown. So the father and mother fare along, trying, they give and prepare. God alone knows what, while the child grows, the winter will bring.

To one it happens that the final letter sadly comes up; there is suffering in youthtime. The wolf, the hoary heath- stepper, will eat him. Then afterward the mother will mourn. Such things are not man’s to control. Hunger shall devour one; one shall be driven by weather. The spear shall get one and war will destroy another. One shall be deprived of the light of his eyes and will have to grope with his hands. One will be lame in the foot, sick with sinew-disease, sorely lamenting and mourning against fate, troubled in mind.

One, featherless, shall fall from the high branch in the forest. He seems to play in the air while in flight, until he passes the last treebranch. Then he falls on the roots, crashes to earth, sighing dark-spirited, bereaved of his soul. His spirit departs.

One needs to walk along the far-ways, has to tread the track of the alien roads, the dangerous earth, carrying what little he has with him. He is not overwhelmed with providers. For the friendless man hate is everywhere be- cause of his misery.

One shall ride the crooked gallows, hang at death, until his soul-hoard, his bloody bone-coffer, becomes broken. There the raven takes the sight from his head; the dark-plumed one slits the soulless, and that horror, the loathsome air-enemy, may not be warded off by hands. His life is shaken, and he, hopeless, deprived of his senses, waits for his fate, pale, hanging on the beam, wound in the mists of death. His name is damned.

Fire shall kill one, the brands consume the perilous life of the fated man. The red fire-glede brings a quick separation from life. The woman weeps; she sees her child engulfed by the flames.

One at the mead-bench is deprived of life by the edge of a sword. The angry ale-swallower, the wine-sated man — his words were too hasty.

One shall, by the steward’s hand, become intemperate by beer and mead; he will know no moderation, no measuring of his mouth, but will mindlessly yield up his wretched life, endure the anger of his lord, be deprived of joy. Men will call him a self-killer and tell how his mouth became slurred with drink.

One shall, with God’s power, spend all his misfortune in youth. Afterwards in age he will become wealthy, dwell in joy days and indulge himself with riches, treasures and mead cups, in the house of his kin — as much as any person may hope to hold and keep.

So diversely the mighty Lord, around the surface of the earth, deals out all, declares and ordains the shape of things that are. To one, wealth; to one a share of miseries; to one glad youth; to one glory in war, mastery in battle; to one skill at throwing or shooting and glorious fame, to one dice-skill, talent at chess. Some become wise scholars.

To one wonder-gifts become furnished through goldsmithing. Full often he tempers and well-ornaments the mail-coat of a mighty king, who will give wide lands to him in return. He will accept it with eagerness.

One shall amuse men in the hall, cheer them at beer, the bench-sitters will be drinkers — there will be great joy. One shall sit at his lord’s feet with the harp, he will always receive his fee, and always keenly wrest the strings, let the nail pick the strings to ring sweetly, their voices leap forth with great desire.

One shall tame the wild bird, the proud hawk on his hand, until the savage-swallow becomes a joy. He does on the jesses, feeds him while in fetters, deals out little gifts to the air-swift, feathered one, until the slaughterer, in decorations and trappings, becomes subservient to his provider and is hand-trained for the young warrior.

So with beauty, the savior of peoples, around the middle-earth, the strength of men, shaped and decreed and guided the shaping of each of humankind on earth. Therefore let each man thank him for what he in his mildness has ordained for us all.

Vainglory [all]

Lo! To me a wise man in the elder days, a wise messenger, told of many special wonders, opened the word-hoard, a wise man with lore. A man wise by books bid with previously spoken words so that I afterwards truly might be able to understand God’s own son (a welcome guest in places) and then in the same way [understand] the weaker, deprived due to sins.

That may be easily understood by each man, he who does not let pride of mind—in this loaned time—obstruct his mind, and in days allow drunkenness to rule where there are many holding a meeting, proud war-smiths in the friend-city.

They sit at the feast, perform true songs, exchange words, discover what strife-place may remain among the mean dwelling in the hall, when wine whets the hearts of men.

Noise mounts up, an outcry in the troop, voices ring variously.

So are minds/spirits divided into portions, are un-alike.

One in over-pride rushes in force, swells inward, for him an unmeasured mind. There are too many like that. That one is all filled by the flying arrows of the enemy, with treacherousness. He cries and cries out, boasts very much of himself, more than the better man, thinks his behavior seems correct to all.

There it will be otherwise, when he finds the result of his hate.

He twists and cheats, thinks much of tricks, lets loose mind-spears, shoots showers.

He then may not know the guilt he has accomplished through hostility. He hates his better, the earl, due to spite, and lets hostile arrows fly through the city wall, the war-seat that his ruler had commanded him to defend.

He sits, feast-proud, overcome by wine, allows his words with skill to fare out, seeking a quarrel, swollen with spite and full of over-pride, with hostility and enmity.

Now you may know, if you meet such a thane in the dwelling place, know a few forth-speakings about this, that this is a child of the enemy wrapped in flesh, has a twisted life, an abyss-eager spirit, is worthless to God.

So that wise one sang, the ready-speaking man, and that sermon performed:

He who himself through pride in the time of hostility, through over-pride, raises himself up through arrogance, he shall become humiliated, after the death-journey, dragged down to dwell fast in suffering, thronged round with worms.

Just as it was long ago in the kingdom of God that over-pride mounted up among the angels, widely famous strife. Wrath rose up, a hard battle-attack. They polluted heaven, hated the one better than them, when they intended to deprive the valor-king of his throne, bereave him of his kingdom, as was not right, and then set in their own judgment in the, in the land of glory.

The father of creation withstood that war; the fight became too grim for them.

But there is for the other a different result, he who here on earth leaves in humility and holds with brotherhood to each other one forever, people among the folk, and loves his enemy, though he has often been angered by him in this world.

He may in the joy of wonder, in the hope of saints, rise up from here to the land of the angels.

It will not be so for the other one, he who lives in sins, in miserable deeds, in pride; it will not be the same for them from the king of glory.

Know you about this. If you meet a humble-minded earl, a thane in the troop, a hoped-for guess, God’s own son, wished for in this world: if the wise one did not lie to me.

Therefore we must always think, remember in mind, the counsel necessary for salvation, each time, remember in each of our hearts the greatest ruler of victories. Amen.

Precepts [all]

Thus the wise father, the mind-wise man, old in good-choices, taught his gentle-born child with wise-fast words so that he might grow well. Always do that which is good and your works will thrive. God will always be a lord and protector of every good thing for you; the enemy will worsen works against others. Train yourself to that which is better: always do this with valor as long as you live. Love [your] father and mother with all your heart, each one of your kin if they are in the love of God. To your elders be always dutiful, fair-worded, in your mind think kind thoughts of your teachers, those who are eager to encourage you to goodness.

The wise father spoke again to his son, another time. Hold this with courage: do not carry out crime; no, never consent to it in your friend or kinsman, the less that the Measurer might accuse you, that you are a knower of sin; he will grant punishment to you as likewise he will grant to the others prosperity.

A third time the thought-wise man taught his child with heart-thoughts. Do not dwell with anyone worse, ever, for any reason, but always take for yourself a counselor who is always able to speak in spells and lore, in whatever way he is in the world.

A fourth time the father again taught his mind-loved child, so that he would remember this. Do not desert an apart-friend, but always hold with rightness, perform this with courage, so that you never become treacherous to your friend.

A fifth time the father began with heart-thoughts to teach his child. Pro- tect yourself from drunkenness and foolish words, crime in the heart and lying in the mouth, from anger and malice, and the love of women; be- cause he must often journey away shame-minded, he who succumbs to the love of a woman, a foreign maid- en; there may always be expectation of crimes, loathsome shames, long enmity against God, excessive pride. May you always be wise in sayings, wary against desires; guard [your] words.

A sixth time the beloved one again began to teach his child, with blithe thoughts. Eagerly understand what is good or evil, and separate them always with a sharp mind in your spirit and always choose that which is better. Al- ways it is given to you — if your spirit avails, dwells in wisdom, and you know well, and recognize evil, hold yourself with valor against it, and al- ways cherish goodness in your heart.

A seventh time, the wise man, the father, taught his son, said much to the young one. A wise man rarely rejoic- es sorrowless; likewise a fool rarely rejoices sorrowful about his future, unless he knows hostility. A wise man must be word-cautious, think in the heart, not at all out loud with noise.

An eighth time the old father began to admonish his kin with mild words: learn the lore, the lore adapted for instruction. Teach yourself wisdom. Trust the Lord of Hosts whom you have as a hope, the memory of saints, and always look for truth, when you say anything.

A ninth time the old man spoke, the old scholar, said a great many things to his heir. There are not now many folk that wish to hold the ancient writings, but for them the mind decays, valor cools, duty becomes idle. They do not care a bit for that, though they do error against the Lord’s bidding. Many must thus receive soul-misery, but let you in your heart hold always the old writings and the judgments of the Lord, those which here in each kin-group men permit very much to decline, more than would be for their own rightness.

A tenth time, full of misery-sorrow, the old man again began to teach his heir. He uses wisdom, he who for the love of his soul, guards himself from errors, of words and deeds, always in his soul, and supports truth. To him every gift will be increased by God, with abundant might, when he flees from sin. Do not let an- ger, the abyss of hostile-words, ever rule you, high in the heart, smite you with whelmings. But the stout-minded man guards himself, his thoughts, against that. A man must be fast in wisdom, and measured, and wise of mind, prudent in thought, eager for wisdom, so that he with other people can have his por- tion of happiness. Do not be too ready to blame, nor too double-speaking, nor in your mind think too contemptuously about men, but be loving, light in soul, bear the breast-coffer, so you remember, my son, the lore of the wise father, and hold yourself always against sin.

The Gifts of Men [all]

New gifts are many and visible on the earth, those which the bearers of spirits experience in their understanding. So the Lord of hosts, the Measurer strong in powers, deals out to men, gives spe- cial gifts, sends widely His own favor, of which each one of the troop-com- panions may receive a portion. Nor is any man on earth so unhap- py, poor, small-spirited or slow-spir- ited that to him the Giver of all will deprive him of the strength of mind or deeds of strength, wisdom in wits or in wordspeakings, so that he will not despair of all things which he has wrought in the worldly life, of each gift. God never determines that anyone must be this miserable. No one again through wisdom strength will rise up in the nation, in the glory of this life, so that the Guardian of the folk will send hither, through His holy grace, wise thoughts and world strengths, all under one’s power; lest in pridefulness the man strong in mind, full of the favors of heaven, turn from moderation and then, arrogant, neglect the poor ones. But He who has the power of judgment deals out diversely, around this middle-earth, the skills of people for the land-dwellers.

To one here on earth He bestows goods, worldly treasures. One is unlucky, a man short of happiness, but is on the other hand skillful in the craft of the mind. One amply receives physical strength. One is freely beautiful in fruitfulness. One is a poet gifted with songs. One is ready of speech. One is quickly eager in the chase, hunting animals. One is dear to a world-powerful man. One is hardy in war, a battle-crafty warrior, when the shield rings. One is able to plan in council the regulation of the folk, when the wise ones are together in an assembly. One is able to plan all sorts of beautiful, high-timbered works; his hand is skilled, wise and controlled. So he works rightly to build a hall, knows how to bind fast the wide structure against collapsing.

One may play the harp with his hands; he has cleverness upon the glee- board.  One is able to run, one is a good shot, one is limb-keen, one is fast on land, footspeedy. One steers a ship on the fallow waves, knows the sea-road, pi- lots ships over the wide waves, when sea-rovers pull the oars alongside the gunnel with quick power.  One is skilled in swimming, one is treasurecrafty of gold and gems, when the guardian of men commands him to create famous treasure for him. One, a mind-crafty weaponsmith, is able to make many weapons for use in war, when he works helmet or sword for the battle of men, armor or shining blade or the roundness of the shield, welded fast against the flying of spears.  One is honor-fast, and eager to give alms, virtuous in obedience.

One is a servant ‘turned’ in the mead-hall. On is skillful with horses, wise in horse- craft. One is ruled by his own mind, endures in patience when he has to. One knows judgment where the troop- companions debate counsel. One is good at dice-playing. One is clever at wine-tasting, a good beer-keeper. One is a good builder, able to build a house. One is a battle-leader, a strong leader of armies. One is a folk-counselor. One is valiant when need be, a ser- vant with his lord. One has patience, a fast-bound spirit. One is a bird-killer, crafty with hawks. One is fast on a horse.  One is very quick, has amusing tricks, a gift for glee-deeds, for the people, light and limb-flexible. One is gracious, has a spirit and a word agreeable to people.

One here eagerly embraces in mind the needs of the spirit and to him the hope of God is chosen over all the earth. One is brave-minded in devil-struggles, is always ready to fight against sins. One has strength in many church duties, is able loudly to praise the ruler of life with praise songs, has an elevated, bright voice. One is book- wise, skillful in lore. One is skillful at writing wordsayings.

There is not now any man on earth that is so crafty-minded, nor is there anyone so strengthened, that all these things become accomplished alone by him, unless vainglory injures him, or his heart rises because of his fame, if he has alone, surpassing all men, beauty and wisdom and the glory of works.

But He diversely restrains the kin of men from vainglory, and His grace gives to one virtue, to the other power, to one beauty, to one in war, to one man He gives a mild heart, a virtuous mind, one is loyal to a master. So worthily the Lord widely sows His benefits. May He always have honor, light-borne praise, He who thus gives life to us, and shows to men His mild heart.