They partake of this who know little of woes,
Pain and anxiety, and have for themselves
Prosperity and bliss, and also the abundance of a fortified town.
The Wyn stanza breaks with the usual byþ beginning: it starts with ne. Ne means not, or no. It can be used as a conjunction too, but here ne is neither this nor that. Old English is an inflected language meaning it uses different prefixes and suffixes to change a word’s grammatical usage in a sentence. The Wyn rune often shows up in manuscripts as a grammalogue (a single symbol used to represent an entire word) with a suffix attached, like this: ᚹne instead of wynne, meaning “of joy.” Th ne at the start of this stanza is a suffix, not a complete word and not a negation. Wyn starts out with a note of joy!
Usually the mood of Old English poetry is not joyfulness — it tends toward the gloomy, but there’s still plenty of wyn in it, particularly in the Rune Poem where the word wyn occurs six times. … More
Cheer up, you are safe. It’s dark and scary out there, but not here. Not anymore. Look around. Walls keeping the baddies out, inside you’ve got way more than you need and access to everything. Feel the bliss of security, it’s joyous! Anxiety means nothing in the face of this abundance. You will prosper, so be happy.
What is W? It looks like two Vs but its name says it is U doubled. It is a consonant, but in other times in select places, it is a vowel. What happened? Why do we have W?
Before English was ever written down, there was a W sound in it. They had a letter for it too: the Wyn rune, ᚹ or Ƿ in manuscript form. This is how we would be writing our Ws, if the world had been otherwise: this is hoƿ ƿe ƿould be ƿriting our Ƿs if the ƿorld had been otherƿise. But it was not otherƿise. England had been occupied by Rome for 400 years, and when they left they didn’t take everything, they left their Latin behind all over the place. It wasn’t a switching off of the lights either when they went, people still considered themselves Roman for quite a long time after, and Latin kept a … More