The School Bag

Wulf and Eadwacer


The men of my tribe would treat him as game:
if he comes to the camp they will kill him outright.

            Our fate is forked.

Wulf is on one island, I on another.
Mine is a fastness: the fens girdle it
and it is defended by the fiercest men.
If he comes to the camp they will kill him for sure.

            Our fate is forked.

It was rainy weather, and I wept by the hearth,
thinking of my Wulf's far wanderings;
one of the captains caught me in his arms.
It gladdened me then; but it grieved me too.

Wulf, my Wulf, it was wanting you
that made me sick, your seldom coming,
the hollowness at heart; not the hunger I spoke of.

Do you hear, Eadwacer?  Our whelp Wulf shall take to the wood.
What was never bound is broken easily,
            our song together.   

English - 10th century - translated by Michael Alexander