Nu ic fitte gen ymb fisca cynn Now will I spur again my wit, and use wille woðcræfte wordum cyþan Poetic skill to weave words into song, þurh modgemynd bi þam miclan hwale. Telling of one among the race of fish, Se bið unwillum oft gemeted, The great asp-turtle. Men who sail the sea 5 frecne ond ferðgrim, fareðlacendum, Often unwillingly encounter him, niþþa gehwylcum; þam is noma cenned, Dread preyer on mankind. His name we know, fyrnstreama geflotan, Fastitocalon. The ocean-swimmer, Fastitocalon. Is þæs hiw gelic hreofum stane, Dun, like rough stone in color, as he floats swylce worie bi wædes ofre, He seems a heaving bank of reedy grass 10 sondbeorgum ymbseald, særyrica mæst, Along the shore, with rolling dunes behind, swa þæt wenaþ wægliþende So that sea-wanderers deem their gaze has found þæt hy on ealond sum eagum wliten, An island. Boldly then their high-prowed ships ond þonne gehydað heahstefn scipu They moor with cables to that shore, a land to þam unlonde oncyrrapum, That is no land. Still floating on the waves, 15 setlaþ sæmearas sundes æt ende, Their ocean-coursers curvet at the marge; ond þonne in þæt eglond up gewitað The weary-hearted sailors mount the isle, collenferþe; ceolas stondað And, free from thought of peril, there abide. bi staþe fæste, streame biwunden. Elated, on the sands they build a fire, ðonne gewiciað werigferðe, A mounting blaze. There, light of heart, they sit— 20 faroðlacende, frecnes ne wenað, No more discouraged—eager for sweet rest. on þam ealonde æled weccað, Then when the crafty fiend perceives that men, heahfyr ælað; hæleþ beoþ on wynnum, Encamped upon him, making their abode, reonigmode, ræste geliste. Enjoy the gentle weather, suddenly þonne gefeleð facnes cræftig Under the salty waves he plunges down, 25 þæt him þa ferend on fæste wuniaþ, Straight to the bottom deep he drags his prey; wic weardiað wedres on luste, He, guest of ocean, in his watery haunts ðonne semninga on sealtne wig Drowns ships and men, and fast imprisons them mid þa noþe niþer gewiteþ Within the halls of death. Such is the way garsecges gæst, grund geseceð, Of demons, devils’ wiles: to hide their power, 30 ond þonne in deaðsele drence bifæsteð And stealthily inveigle heedless men, scipu mid scealcum. Swa bið scinna þeaw, Inciting them against all worthy deeds, deofla wise, þæt hi drohtende And luring them to seek for help and comfort þurh dyrne meaht duguðe beswicað, From unsuspected foes, until at last ond on teosu tyhtaþ tilra dæda, They choose a dwelling with the faithless one. 35 wemað on willan, þæt hy wraþe secen, Then, when the fiend, by crafty malice stirred, frofre to feondum, oþþæt hy fæste ðær From where hell’s torments bind him fast, perceives æt þam wærlogan wic geceosað. That men are firmly set in his domain, þonne þæt gecnaweð of cwicsusle With treachery unspeakable he hastes flah feond gemah, þætte fira gehwylc To snare and to destroy the lives of those, 40 hæleþa cynnes on his hringe biþ Both proud and lowly, who in sin perform fæste gefeged, he him feorgbona His will on earth. Donning the mystic helm þurh sliþen searo siþþan weorþeð, His will on earth. Donning the mystic helm wloncum ond heanum, þe his willan her The place devoid of good—all misty gloom, firenum fremmað, mid þam he færinga, Where broods a sullen lake, black, bottomless, 45 heoloþhelme biþeaht, helle seceð, Just as the monster, Fastitocalon, goda geasne, grundleasne wylm Destroys seafarers, overwhelming men under mistglome, swa se micla hwæl, And staunch-built ships. Another trait he has, se þe bisenceð sæliþende This proud sea-swimmer, still more marvelous. eorlas ond yðmearas. He hafað oþre gecynd, When hunger grips the monster on the deep, 50 wæterþisa wlonc, wrætlicran gien. Making him long for food, his gaping mouth þonne hine on holme hungor bysgað The ocean-warder opens, stretching wide ond þone aglæcan ætes lysteþ, His monstrous lips; and from his cavernous maw ðonne se mereweard muð ontyneð, Sends an entrancing odor. This sweet scent, wide weleras; cymeð wynsum stance Deceiving other fishes, lures them on 55 of his innoþe, þætte oþre þurh þone, In swiftly moving schools toward that fell place sæfisca cynn, beswicen weorðaþ, Whence comes the perfume. There, unwary host, swimmað sundhwate þær se sweta stenc They enter in, until the yawning mouth ut gewiteð. Hi þær in farað Is filled to overflowing, when, at once, unware weorude, oþþæt se wida ceafl Trapping their prey, the fearful jaws snap shut. 60 gefylled bið; þonne færinga So, in this fleeting earthly time, each man ymbe þa herehuþe hlemmeð togædre Who orders heedlessly his mortal life grimme goman. Swa biþ gumena gehwam, Lets a sweet odor, some beguiling wish, se þe oftost his unwærlice Entice him, so that in the eyes of God, on þas lænan tid lif bisceawað, The King of glory, his iniquities 65 læteð hine beswican þurh swetne stenc, Make him abhorrent. After death for him leasne willan, þæt he biþ leahtrum fan The all-accursed devil opens hell— wið wuldorcyning. Him se awyrgda ongean Opens for all who in their folly here æfter hinsiþe helle ontyneð, Let pleasures of the body overcome þam þe leaslice lices wynne Their spirits’ guidance. When the wily fiend 70 ofer ferhtgereaht fremedon on unræd. Into his hold beside the fiery lake þonne se fæcna in þam fæstenne With evil craft has led those erring ones gebroht hafað, bealwes cræftig, Who cleave to him, sore laden with their sins, æt þam edwylme þa þe him on cleofiað, Those who in earthly life have hearkened well gyltum gehrodene, ond ær georne his To his instruction, after death close shut 75 in hira lifdagum larum hyrdon, He snaps those woful jaws, the gates of hell. þonne he þa grimman goman bihlemmeð Whoever enters there has no relief, æfter feorhcwale fæste togædre, Nor may he any more escape his doom helle hlinduru; nagon hwyrft ne swice, And thence depart, than can the swimming fish utsiþ æfre, þa þær in cumað, Elude the monster. Therefore it is [best 80 þon ma þe þa fiscas faraðlacende And altogether [right for each of us of þæs hwæles fenge hweorfan motan. To serve and honor God, the Lord of lords, Forþon is eallinga And always in our every word and deed dryhtna dryhtne, ond a deoflum wiðsace To combat devils, that we may at last wordum ond weorcum, þæt we wuldorcyning Behold the King of glory. In this time 85 geseon moton. Uton a sibbe to him Of transitory things, then, let us seek on þas hwilnan tid hælu secan, Peace and salvation from him, that we may þæt we mid swa leofne in lofe mottant Rejoice for ever in so dear a Lord, to widan feore wuldres neotan. And praise his glory everlastingly.