Tag Archives: ANGLO-SAXON

THE WANDERER POEM

I discovered a very deep Anglo-Saxon poem called The Wanderer. It talks about a warrior who lived a happy life before being exiled. J. R. R. Tolkein drew inspiration from this poem while writing the culture of Rohan. The poem goes as such:

‘Hwaer cwom mearg, hwaer cwom mago? Hwaer cwom maþþumgyfa? Hwaer cwom symbla gesetu? Hwaer sindon seledreamas? Eala beorht bune, eala byrnwiga, eala theodnes þrym! Hu seo þrag gewat, Genap under nihthelm, swa heo no waere!’

Translates as this into modern English, with a rough approximation:

‘Whither has gone the horse, whither the man? Where now is the giver of treasure? Where are the palaces of the feast, where are the pleasures of the hall? Alas for the glittering goblet! Alas for the girt warrior! Alas for the princes power! How those days have departed, Darkened under night’s shadow, as if they had never been!’

I am thinking of following Tolkein’s lead and draw inspiration from this poem in order to better describe the mindset of the hero in my spin-off fantasy series.