The Lament of Deor

is is a post Ic hæfde in my mind for ages. Ic first came in contact with ðis poem on Ðe Book of Lost Tales part 2. On the last chapter, about Eärendel, ðere wæs a line that kept me wondering for a while: “Þæs oferéode, ðisses swá mæg.”. Close to it, wæs ðe translation: “Time has passed since this, this, too, shall pass”. Ic wæs on a plane, coming back to São Paulo. I asked my mother for some pen and paper, so I could copy it. After I got home, I researched it and found this poem: The Lament of Deor. This post was written near the end of the 10th century, originally in Olde English, found in the Exeter book, that is, today, the greatest collection of Olde English literature.

The first version Ic infinde (and the one I used) wæs on a website called Heorot.dk. þū canst infind it here: http://www.heorot.dk/deor.html

It wæs a very difficult translation, some weird and complicated words, but I hope you enjoy it!

Trilanguage Text (Old English, Modern English & Quenya Versions)

Wélund him be wurm{a}   wráeces cunnade
Weland, from serpents,          experienced misery,
Wélun, locíva, nóla angayassë

anhýdig eorl,   earfoþa dréag,
the resolute warrior,   he endured hardships,
i tulca ohtaryaro, colles hrangar

hæfde him tó gesíþþe    sorge ond longaþ,
had as companions to him,       sorrow and longing,
haryanes ve sartor ósë, nyérë ar milmë,

wintercealde wræce,     wéan oft onfond
wintry-cold exile,      he often found woes
hehtaina ringa hrívessë, hirnes nyérë

siþþan hine Níðhád on   néde legde
after Nithhad upon him  laid a compulsion,
apa Nisihat senna carnë mausta,

swoncre seonobende      on syllan monn.
supple bounds on sinew          on a better man.
cúna réna tuossë ammára veossë..

Þæs oferéode,   ðisses swá mæg.
As that passed away,    so may this.
Ve ya vánë, sië ecë sina.

Beadohilde ne wæs       hyre bróþra déaþ
For Beadohild was not   her brothers’ death
An Pëatohilt úmë qualmë torniryaiva

on sefan swá sár        swá hyre sylfre þing,
in her mind so grievous         as her own condition,
sámaryassë ta nyérinqua ve sómarya immo,

þæt héo gearolíce       ongieten hæfde
that she clearly        had seen
ya tancavë ecénies

þæt héo éacen wæs;      áefre ne meahte
that she was swollen with child;        she could never
ya nés tiuyaina yo hína, úmes lerta ullumë

þríste geþencan         hú ymb þæt sceolde.
think confidently       what must (be done) about that.
navë estelinqua ya mauya carë sëo

Þæs oferéode,   ðisses swá mæg.
As that passed away,    so may this.
Ve ya vánë, sië ecë sina.

Wé þæt Máeðhilde        monge gefrugnon
That for Maethhild, of us       many have heard
Nat Maisilden, mëo rimbë ahlárier

wurdon grundléase       Géates fríge,
that boundless became   Geat’s desire,
ya mettalóra quernë írë Cëatwa,

þæt hi{m} séo sorglufu  sláep ealle binóm.
that him this sad love          entirely deprived of sleep.
ya nyérinqua melmë sina aqua racina húmëo.

Þæs oferéode,   ðisses swá mæg.
As that passed away,    so may this.
Ve ya vánë, sië ecë sina.

Ðéodríc áhte    þrítig wintra
Theodric held   for thirty winters
§ëotiricë haryanë 30 hríven

Máeringa burg;  þæt wæs mongegum cúþ.
the stronghold of the Maerings;         that was known to many.
i osto Mairingeso, ya rimbë sintë

Þæs oferéode,   ðisses swá mæg.
As that passed away,    so may this.
Ve ya vánë, sië ecë sina.

Wé geáscodan    Eormanríces
We learned      of Eormanric’s
Parnelmë Eörmarricëo

wylfenne geþóht;        áhte wíde folc
wolfish mind;   he ruled people far and wide
narmovëa órë, turnes lië palan

Gotena ríces.   Þæt wæs grim cyning.
in the kingdom of the Goths.    That was a savage king.
araniessë Cosíva. Tana né verca aran

Sæt secg monig  sorgum gebunden
Many a warrior sat,     bound in sorrows,
Ohtatyaroli harner, nauta nyéressë

wéan on wénan,  wýscte geneahhe
expecting woe,          often wished
Sacië nyéreva, ve senwa merna.

þæt þæs cyneríces       ofercumen wáere.
that his kingdom        would be overcome.
ya ecuva aranieryan turna ná.

Þæs oferéode,   ðisses swá mæg.
As that passed away,        so may this.
Ve ya vánë, sië ecë sina.

Siteð sorgcearig        sáelum bidáeled,
A man sits sorrowful,   bereft of joys,
Nér harë nyérinqua, alassenca,

on sefan sweorceð,      sylfum þinceð
in his soul it grows dark,      it seems to him
fëaryassë alalë morma, nácë sen.

þæt sý endeléas         earfoða dæl.
that endless is         his portion of sufferings.
ya oialë ná harwerya.

Mæg þonne geþencan      þæt geond þás woruld
He may then think       that throughout this world
Ecë sen savë ya ter ambar sina

wítig dryhten   wendeþ geneahhe,
the wise Lord   often makes changes,
i istima Héru senwavë ahya,

eorle monegum   áre gescéawað
to many men     honours are shown,
rimbë nérin alcari nar tanainë,

wislícne bláed,         sumum wéana dáel.
true fame,      to some a portion of woe.
naitë alcar, quellin ranta nyéreva.

Þæt ic bí mé sylfum     secgan wille
This of my self I       wish to say–
Sina merin immo quetë

þæt ic hwíle wæs        Heodeninga scop
that for a time I was   the gleeman of the Heodenings,
ya lúmen né i lindo Hëoteningíva,

dryhtne dýre.   Mé wæs Déor noma;
dear to my lord.        ‘Deor’ was my name;
melda herun. Teor né essenya;

áhte ic fela wintra     folgað tilne,
I had for many winters          a good employment,
Haryanen rimbë hríven mára molië,

holdne hláford  oþ þæt Heorrenda nú
a gracious lord,        until now Heorrenda,
raina heru, tenna sí Hëorrenda

léoðcræftig monn        londryht geþáh
a song-skilled man,     received the land-rights
mára lindo, camnë i nórë

þæt mé eorla hléo       áer gesealde.
that to me the protector of earls       had given before.
ya nin i varyaro heruiva antië noavë.

Þæs oferéode,   ðisses swá mæg.
As that passed away,    so may this.
Ve ya vánë, sië ecë sina

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10 Comments

Filed under Elvish, History, Linguistics, Old English, Poem, Quenya, Tengwar

10 responses to “The Lament of Deor

  1. Pingback: Rosa das Rosas Quenyanna | quenya101

  2. brihtuhn

    It’s a big 2D piece composed of evenly sized strips of paper (magazine pages chopped up with a shredder). The DEOR line was worked in so that it’s indistinguishable from the other strips. There are lines in many different languages in it include Cherokee.

  3. Thank you! It’s just GREAT!

  4. I love this poem and specifically the iconic line “Þæs oferéode, ðisses swá mæg.” I even incorporated it into a piece of art I did about 5 years ago. Bravo on this post!

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