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Amelia Penny, 1st prize (14-and-under)
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The Seafarer[an extract: lines 1 to 25]

Mæg ic be me sylfum    so›gied wrecan,
sifias secgan,    hu ic geswincdagum
earfo›hwile    oft firowade,
bitre breostceare    gebiden hæbbe,

gecunnad in ceole    cearselda fela,
atol yfia gewealc,    fiær mec oft bigeat
nearo nihtwaco    æt nacan stefnan,
fionne he be clifum cnossa›.    Calde gefirungen
wæron mine fet,    forste gebunden,

caldum clommum,    fiær fia ceare seofedun
hat ymb heortan;    hungor innan slat
merewerges mod.    fiæt se mon ne wat
fie him on foldan    fægrost limpe›,
hu ic earmcearig    iscealdne sæ

winter wunade    wræccan lastum,
winemægum bidroren,
bihongen hrimgicelum;    hægl scurum fleag.
fiær ic ne gehyrde    butan hlimman sæ,
iscaldne wæg.    Hwilum ylfete song

dyde ic me to gomene,    ganetes hleofior
ond huilpan sweg    fore hleahtor wera,
mæw singende    fore medodrince.
Stormas fiær stanclifu beotan,    fiær him stearn oncwæ›
isigfefiera;    ful oft fiæt earn bigeal,

urigfefira;


Anonymous
The Seafarer[an extract]

I tell of my tales, recount the true story
Of my hardship-laden life,
Often bearing bitter worry
Woven through days of toil.
I have known on the keel many a house of care,
And monstrous waves. I was often held
On troubled night-watch at the prow,
And saw her dashed against the cliffs.
While I felt the cold weave chains
Around my feet, frost-bound
My burning worries blazed about my heart
And hunger bruised my wave-weary spirit.
Those living most contentedly on the land could not know
How wretchedly on ice-cold sea
I weathered winters on my exiled way.
Absent of friends,
Hung round by icicles,
While hail rattles past in storms,
Hearing nothing but the booming sea,
The chilling waves.
Sometimes I found solace in the wild swan's song,
The gannet's cry, or made the din of curlews merriment,
The singing gull my draught of mead.
The storms berated rugged cliffs. The tern
With frosted wings replied.
The horn-beaked eagle shrieked.


Translated from the Anglo-Saxon by Amelia Penny
  [Commentary on the poem by the translator]   



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