Rendsburger Ofen-Depot Kasimir - Ofen-Kasimir

Altenglisch / Old English

The Seafarer

See also: Apollonius of Tyre

Please look at as there are much better translations than ours. Your best training is to do it yourself before a test. This is what we did and since the task for the test was a more or less literal translation. If this translation did help you in any way please let us know.

This translation is discussed in Wayne Sandholtz's article on "Why Modern English is Not Better than Old English"

Ins Neuenglische übersetzt von Igor Fux und Matthias Kasimir

A translation by Igor Fux and Matthias Kasimir

The Seafarer    2000-02-05

May I by myself sing  (work) a true song,
about my voyages, how I in hard days
a hard time often suffered,
bitter sorrows (breast cares) have endured,
5 known (experienced) aboard the ship many worries.
dreadful waves roll, there I/me often got
narrow/ frightening nightwatches in stern of the ship,
when it hit the cliffs. Chill penetrated
were my feet, bound by frost,
10 in the cold grip. There the cares weep/ wail
hot in the heart, hunger lowered/ cut at
the mood of (the man) weary of the sea. That the man does not know
to whom on the land the fairest life happens,
how I poorly on the icecold sea
15 lived in the winter in the track/ way of the outcast,
bereft of the loved kinsmen,
hung with icicles/ rime, hail in showers flew.
There I heard nothing but the sea roar,
icecold wave. At times with the swan song
20 did I myself delight, the voice of the water fowl/ gannet
and curlew's cry instead of men's laughter,
the seagull singing, instead of the meaddrink.
There storms beat the stone-cliffs , there the seaswallow answers them
with icy feathers the eagle often yelled,
25 with wet feathers, none of the protecting relatives
might soothe the lonely heart.
Therefore he (him) believes little,  (he who ... believes little) who owned the life's joy,
experienced in a palace, of the badness of voyages little,
proud and winehappy, how I often weary,
30 on the sea voyage must stay.
Dark grew night shadows, it snowed from the north,
rime bound the soil, hail fell on the earth,
of corn(s) the coldest. Therefore now beat
thoughts of the heart that I deep streams,
35 salty waves commotion myself alone know
urge the heart's desire many times,
the soul to depart, that I far from here
foreign people's home might seek.
Therefore (there) is not such a haughty man on earth,
40 nor are his gifts that good, nor in his youth so bold,
nor in his deeds so brave, nor his lord to him so generous,
that he has no worries about his sea-voyage,
to what purpose his lord will put him.
Nor has he a mind for the harp nor for getting rings,
45 nor delight in women nor joy in life,
nor about anything else, apart from the rolling of the waves,
but they always have a longing, he (those) who set head for the sea.
Woods bear blossoms, castles turn beautiful (fair),
fields shine, the world thrives,
50 all that admonishes the one ready at heart,
the heart for the yourney, those who think in this way
to go far on sea routes.
In the same way cuckoo admonish(es) with a sorrowful voice,
sings the summer's guard, forebodes sorrow,
55 bitter in the breast. That a fighter does not know,
well blessed warrior, what some must endure,
who go farthest on the exile path.
And yet, my heart moves out of my breast
my inner heart with the stream of the sea
60 over the whale's home I go wide,
over the surfaces of the earth often comes to me
voracious and greedy, the lonely bird cries,
sharpens the heart on the sea (whale's way)
to the flood of the sea (lake). Therefore to me are dearer (I prefer, hotter are to me)
65 the joys of the lord than this dead life,
transient (lean, loan) on the land. I do not believe,
that for them (him) the wealth of the earth is eternal (always stands).
Always and in every case on of three things
leads to sorrow before its time;
70 illness or old age or war
takes away the soul of the ill-fated, the dying (man).
Therefore for everyone of the leaders the praise of the "after-speakers"
in the obituary of the surviving is best,
that he may achieve, before he must leave,
75 through achievements on earth against the evil/ envy of the enemies,
through courageus deeds against the devil,
that all men's children praise him afterwards
and his praise since then lives with the angels
always and always, the joy of eternal life,
80 joy with the heavenly angels (army). The days have passed,
all luxury of the areas of the earth;
There are now not any kings nor emperors,
nor gold-givers such as before were,
when most of them achieved glorious deeds,
85 and lived in highest esteem.
All the group has died, the joys are gone,
the weak are alive and rule the earth,
keep it by effort (business). Luck has declined,
the earth's glory has grown old and disintegrated,
90 like every man on middle-earth now.
Old age overtakes him, the face turns pale,
the grey-haired mourns, he knows (that) his friends of his youth,
the children of the nobles, given to the earth (buried).
When he is loosing his life, the body can not
95 neither taste sweet nor feel pain,
nor move the hand, nor think with the mind.
Even if with gold will strew the grave,
his brother, born in the same family, bury with the dead,
several treasures that he wants to take with him,
100 that soul wich is full of sin gold cannot
help against the wrath of god,
when he hides it before, as long as he lives here. 

(lm 2k11-03).