Old English Poetry

       The Voyage of Life

Now is it most like     as if on ocean
Across cold water     we sail in our keels,
Over the wide sea     in our ocean-steeds,
Faring on in our flood-wood.     Fearful the stream,
The tumult of waters,     whereon we toss
In this feeble world.     Fierce are the surges
On the ocean-lanes.     Hard was our life
Before we made harbor     over the foaming seas.
Then help was vouchsafed     when God’s Spirit-Son
Guided us to the harbor of salvation     and granted us grace
That we may understand     over the ship’s side
Where to moor our sea-steeds,     our ocean-stallions,
Fast at anchor.    Let us fix our hope
Upon that haven     which the Lord of heaven,
In holiness on high,     has opened by His Ascension.
                             
                                                ~    Cynewulf

Isn’t that bit of ninth century poetry lovely?

It’s from An Anthology of Old English Poetry translated by Charles W. Kennedy. 
Used copies begin at $0.60 with $3.49 shipping and handling.  Such a deal.

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3 thoughts on “Old English Poetry

  1. It is beautiful poetry, but the photo is more beautiful still.  Having grown up by the Atlantic, then moved away 26 years ago, this photo makes me want to dive in, touch each bit of foam, feel the waves rise under the ship.  The haven of God is worthy of all my thanks and praise, but I also want to continue the faring, with His guidance.  Ships are meant to make harbor, and voyage again.

  2. In my *Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry*, Cynewulf is the second author addressed…after Caedmon and before Bede.  On your recommendation, I am reading *Lines from the Ascenion from The Redeemer*………a worthy morning devotion.
    Blessings fm GA,Dana 

  3. In my *Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry*, Cynewulf is the second author addressed…after Caedmon and before Bede.  On your recommendation, I am reading *Lines from the Ascenion from The Redeemer*………a worthy morning devotion.
    Blessings fm GA,Dana 

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