þyslic me is gesewen1
þis andwearde lif2 manna3 on eorðan
to wiðmetenesse þære tide4 þe us uncuð is
swylc swa þu æt swæsendum sitte5
mid þinum ealdormannum & þegnum on wintertide
& sie6 fyr onælæd & þin heall gewyrmed
& hit rine & sniwe & styrme ute7
cume an spearwa & hrædlice þæt hus þurhfleo
cume þurh oþre duru in þurh oþre ut gewite8
hwæt9 he on þa tid þe he inne bið
ne bið hrinen mid þy storme þæs wintres
ac þæt bið an eagan10 bryhtm & þæt læsste fæc
ac he sona11 of wintra on þone winter eft cymeð
swa þonne þis monna12 lif
to medmiclum fæce ætyweð
hwæt þær foregange oððe hwæt þær æfterfylige
we ne cunnon.
Thus seems to me, King,
"is seen"; the verb is séon 'to see', ic seah 'I
saw, hit is gesewen 'it is seen'
2 þis líf - the word líf is neuter (hvorugkyns) as it is in Icelandic; but þis is also neuter (masculine þes, femininine þeos, neuter þis)
3 manna, genitive plural, just like Icelandic - 'þetta líf manna'
4 þære tíde, dative feminine plural - Iceælandic 'þeirri tíð'
5 sitte - this word and all the following verbs are in the present subjunctive, following the phrase swylce swa 'as if' ("such so").
The normal indicative present form would be sitteð or sitt. Compare Icelandic: 'Svo sem þú sitjir (skyldir sitja)..'
6 síe or sý be' - subjunctive present of is 'is'. Icelandic "sé".
7 rine, sniwe, styrme - subjunctive present forms; indicative would be rin(e)ð, sniw(e)ð, styrm(e)ð.
8 cume - subjunctive present for cymð/cymeð; gewite subjunctive present for gewiteð.
9 The word hwæt 'what' is used in Old English to mean 'lo, see, listen!' at the beginning of a poem or a speech in American English we might say 'Now hear this!' The great 3000-line Old English poem Béowulf begins with the words Hwæt, we Gardena in geardagum .... þrym gefrunon 'Lo, we have have heard of the glory of the Spear-Danes'
10 an eagan bryhtm, 'the flash of an eye'. The word eagan is the genitive singular form of eage, 'eye' - compare Icelandic auga, which does not change in the genitive singular. The same goes for eare, earan, ear (eyra)
11 sona gives the modern word 'soon'; originally it meant "immediately".
12 þis líf (see note 2 above) 'this life'. Monna is the genitive plural of mon(n) 'man'; these words often occur as man, man(n), manna.
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