Translation: Wulf and Eadwacer

Translation: Wulf and Eadwacer

A Poem by Michael R. Burch

Wulf and Eadwacer
ancient Anglo-Saxon poem, circa 960 AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My clan's curs pursue him like crippled game;
they'll rip him apart if he approaches their pack.
It is otherwise with us.

Wulf's on one island; we're on another.
His island's a fortress, fastened by fens.
Here, bloodthirsty curs howl for carnage.
They'll rip him apart if he approaches their pack.
It is otherwise with us.

My heart pursued Wulf like a panting hound,
but whenever it rained―how I wept!―
the boldest cur grasped me in its paws:
good feelings for him, but for me loathsome!

Wulf, O, my Wulf, my ache for you
has made me sick; your seldom-comings
have left me famished, deprived of real meat.

Have you heard, Eadwacer? Watchdog!
A wolf has borne our wretched whelp to the woods!
One can easily sever what never was one:
our song together.

Keywords/Tags: Anglo-Saxon, Old English, England, translation, scop, female, women, rape, raping, sex, sexual abuse, incest, lament, complaint, tribalism, tribe, clan, pack, chauvinism, war, wolf, wolves, dog, dogs, hound, hounds, cur, curs, whelp, baby, offspring, island, animal, longing, lust, passion, violence

© 2020 Michael R. Burch


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Added on March 3, 2020
Last Updated on March 3, 2020
Tags: Anglo-Saxon, Old English, England, translation, scop, female, women, rape, raping, sex, sexual abuse, incest, lament, complaint, tribalism, tribe, clan, pack, chauvinism, war, wolf, wolves, dog, dogs