The Wisdom Poem

Wille ic secgan mid sowordum
on gydde sprcan geongdagas mine:
hwider ic wende ond hwt ic funde;
hu geweox ic ond wode, hu ic wisdome sohte.

rest on glesbyrige on ealde tide
r Cuwulf cwom and Cromwell fter
ond William se horsunu wulf on leode:
mroste menna on middangearde.
Ac nu Eallaric eac, a ic up weox,
to scole ws ic gesended, slum bedled,
hean of hame horswege ofer.
r ic sittan sceolde sumorlangne dg;
rimcrft ful oft, runa ferhleasa,
ond frncgeeode feowru wintras,
ond Niwengliscgewrit ond Natsig str
syxum dreag ic snytre feor.

Ac for hwan modsefa min ne geswurce
a ic on wrclastum for wyrde for?
For am wisdom ic sohte, on wanstedas hogode:
hwonan cwomon word? hwonan cwomon Wealas?
hwr wron wealhstodas? hwa ws Earor
eelweard Bretenes oe Cerdic cyning oe Cynewulf
e wordcrft wf oe Weland e hringas gf?

Lareowas maelodon, mlum thton:
'Ne frin u fter unrde be ealdereorde!
Dysig ertu lric, mid gedwolscipe sprecest!
Asca nfre bi Angelcynne:
on Pitte ence, ne on Peohtaleode;
ne lfred cyning ac on Ovide smeag.
Cum u ofer to Engliscgewrite
hwr man ne gewryce ac win drince;
Wear u wita stres e wordcrft ne cnawe:
An ertu lric on Asnacleode,
oferfar u hider ac onfo min wisdom!
Gedwolscipe e ne duge on a deorcan sidan cum!'

Hwt! a ic gemunde last minne for am sume larbok cw:
'Man hicgan sceolde hyrnum deorcum:
On Grntebrycge garberendas,
widgecue ond wighearde
on gewinnum tcinge ond wisdomes scplega,
wunia on wice e West-Strt heht.'
a ic ldengeeode leornode swie
gedefe bec dge ond nihte,
str ond lare on Stentones bec
ac songas ond spell sohte ic ond rdde,
ot ellenful ond utfus mid elum welum
urh wintres woman cwom on West-Strte
on Asnacgeferum onfongen wear.

Freondscipe r ic funde mid freolicum gesium:
Andig and Olifer andgitfulle,
Richeard and Ros radost to helpan
Moire ond Meartin mihtig on leornunge
(se manna mildost, micelrd gyfe mec)
ond Dafid and Simon domlicne ahafene,
and leorneras eac e lefdon iu
Lapicg beralic bradost on eaxlum
ond Powl e wode on Peohtaleode,
freondas ful manige, fultume holde.

Fugol fleah on storme, eode frofre bidled,
wides gewealce gecynsed, on wolcnum, mid snawe behringed:
on engum anpaum woruldes wod ic isigferum.
Ot her healduru ic mette ond inne hyht geseah:
fyr bi flette onled, foldbold beorhte gewyrmed.
Her is leoht and lufu, larum ond freondum,
her eel ic ah ealfela wynna.
Nu wende ic heonan ne wat ic hwider;
ac gif ic meahte giftas wolde ic sellan
feoh and fela mama swa fymest hi woldon,
regen reades goldes ond hringa seolfra
to leanianne leorneras her.
For wisdom nis me nan, ne wordcrft genoge to am.

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