I Sing This Wretched Song

I sing this wretched song, my full sorrow
Of my departure by myself, that I might speak
That I dwelt in destitution, since I grew up,
Newly until of old, no more than now,
Forever I suffered my compensation, a journey of exile.

First my husband departed away from our people,
Over the tumult of the waves; I have sorrow at dawn
Of where on this land the leader of our people might have been.

Then I departed on a journey, seeking to follow
A friendless exile, because of my woeful need.

I began so that after, my kinsmen consider the servant
Through secret council, that they separate the two of us,
That we two, in the widest wealth of the world
Lived we most horribly, and grieved for me.

I commanded myself, my man, to take a dwelling in the sacred grove,
I had few loved ones in this place
Of loyal friends, because that is my miserable thought.

When I myself corrupt found a man well matched,
Unfortunate, sad in mind,
Spirit concealing murderous thoughts.

Cheerful in bearing full often we two boasted
That the two of us not separate except for the death of one,
Nothing else. Again is that reversed,
It is now as it has not been,
The friendship of the pair of us. Shall I far and near,
For my lover, endure enmity.

They commanded me to dwell in the forest barrow
Under an oak tree, in the burial caves.

Ancient is this cave dwelling, I am entirely longing,
The dales are dark, the hills are tall,
Bitter cities of overgrown brambles,
A joyless encampment. Full often this place oppressed me cruelly,
The departure of my husband, and friends are on earth,
Beloved living ones, lying in beds,
When I before daybreak walk alone,
Under the oak tree among these burial caves.

There I must sit, long as a summer day.
There I can weep for my banishment,
With much hardship, because then I may never
Find rest in this place from my heartache,
Nor all this longing oppressing me in this life.

Always must a young man be sad of mind,
Hard of heart and thought, and also must have
A cheerful bearing in addition to heartache,
A multitude of perpetual sorrows. He might be dependent upon himself alone,
For all the joy of his world, he might be full far and wide, guilty of crime,
Removed far from his folkland, so that my friend sits
Under a rocky cliff frosted by storms,
My friend weary minded, water surrounded,
In a dreary hall, the suffering of my friend
Of much anxiety. He often reminisces too
Of a pleasant home. Woe are they who must
With longing, wait for their beloved.