The Ruin


 
 
 
 
 
Wrtlic is es wealstan;          wyrde gebrcon,
burgstede burston,       brosnað enta geweorc.
Hrofas sind gehrorene,             hreorge torras,
hrungeat berofen,                       hrim on lime,
scearde scurbeorge           scorene, gedorene,
Aeldo undereotone.                   Eorðgrop hafað
waldendwyrhtan,          forweorone, geleorene
heard gripe hrusan,                   o hund cnea
wereoda gewitan.             Oft s wag gebad,
rghar and readfah,                 rice  fter orum,
ofstondem under stormum; steap geap gedreas.
...........................................
 
 
 
 
Mod monade,                 myne swiftne gebrgd;
hwtred in hringas,                  hygerof gebond
weallwalan wirum                  wundrum togedre.
Beorht weron burgrced,          burnsele monige,
heah horngestreon,                 heresweg micel,
meodoheall monig                    mondreama full,
ot t onwende,                  wyrd seo swie
Crungon walo wide,             cwoman woldagas
swylt eall fornom                      secgrofra wera;
wurdon hyra wigsteal               westenstaolas
brosnade burgsteall.               Betend crungon,
hergas to hrusan.    Foron as hofu dreorgiað
and aes teaforgeapa               tigelum sceadeð
hrostbeages hrof.             Hryre wong gecrong
gebrocen to beorgum           r iu beorn monig
gldmod and goldbeorht         gleoma gefrtwed,
wlonc and wingal                   wighyrstum scan,
seah on sinc, on sylfor,           on searogimmas,
on ead, on ht,                         on eorcanstan,
on as beorhtan burg                  bradan rices.
Stanhofu stodan,                stream hate wearp
widan wylme;                        weal eall befeng
beorhtan bosme                   r a bau wron,
hat on hrere;                          t ws hyðelic.
Leton onne geotan                ......................
ofer harne stan                         hate streamas
under............                          ....................
ot hringmere,                      Hate..............
................                         r a bau wron.
...........................................

Well-wrought this wall: Wierds broke it.
The stronghold burst...
Snapped rooftrees, towers fallen,
the work of the Giants, the stonesmiths,
mouldereth.
            Rime scoureth gatetowers
            rime on mortar.
Shattered the showershields, roofs ruined,
age under-ate them.
            And the wielders & wrights?
Earthgrip holds them - gone, long gone
fast in gravesgrasp while fifty fathers
and sons have passed.
            Wall stood,
grey lichen, red stone, kings fell often,
stood under storms, high arch crashed -
stands yet the wallstone, hacked by weapons,
by files grim-ground...
...shone the old skilled work
...sank to loam-crust

Mood quickened mind, and man of wit,
cunning in rings, bound bravely the wallbase
with iron, a wonder.

Bright were the buildings, halls where springs ran,
high, horngabled, much throng-noise;
these many meadhalls men filled
with loud cheerfulness: Weird changed that.

Came days of pestilence, on all sides men fell dead,
death fetched off the flower of the people;
where they stood to fight, waste places
and on the acropolis, ruins.
            Hosts who would build again
shrank to the earth. Therefore are these courts dreary
and that red arch twisteth tiles,
wryeth from roof-ridge, reacheth groundwards...
Broken blocks...

            There once many a man
mood-glad, gold-bright, of gleams garnished,
flushed with wine-pride, flashing war-gear,
gazed on wrought gemstones, on gold, on silver,
on wealth held and hoarded, on light-filled amber,
on this bright burg of broad dominion.

Stood stone houses; wide streams welled
hot from source, and a wall all caught
in its bright bosom, and the baths were
hot at hall's hearth; that was fitting...

............ Thence hot streams, loosed, ran over hoar stone
unto the ring-tank...
...It is a kingly thing
...city...

Alexander, M.  1966 The Earliest English Poems