“The Wife’s Lament”

            trans. Charmae Cottom

1    I tell this story about myself, very sad.
My Fate. I can say that –
Listen! I endured hardships recent or ancient
after I grew up, by no means more than now.

5    Forever, I suffer punishment, my misery;
Resurrected, my Lord departed from his people,
over rolling waves.  I have grief before dawn –
Where could the leader of the land’s people be?
9    Then, I thought to set out to seek other followers.
Friendless wanderer for my grievous need
that began with the son of man’s intent,
through secret thought, that they separate we two.

13    That we two- most widely in the world
survived most wretchedly, and I longed.
My Lord commanded me “Take sanctuary in this temple!”
I have few loved ones in this land.

17    Loyal friend, therefore is my heart sad
because I accepted a brave man;
unfortunately sad at heart,
his spirit concealed a murderous plan.

21    With friendly intentions, very often we two
vowed we would not separate by death,
nothing else!
Afterwards is that changed.

25    For our friendship, I must far and near
suffer enmity for my dearly loved.
I was commanded to dwell in a wood grove
under an oak tree in this earth grave.

29    Old is this earth grave.  I am seized with longing.
The gloomy valley, the lofty hill,
the grim enclosing hedge is grown over
this joyless abode.  Very often  here wrath seizes me
33    for my Lord’s journey hence. Friends be on earth,
Beloved, they live, enjoy their beds.
When before dawn I walk alone
under the tree of faith, through these sepulchers.

37    There I sit through a long summer day
where I weep for my  misery.
Hardships are many, because forever I am not able
to rest from my grief of heart -

nor entirely after longing for you my whole life.

42    Forever must a young person be sad minded,
with hard hearted thought. And likewise must have
a friendly demeanor, even when her breast
aches in constant sorrow. “Be on oneself dependent,”

46    All the world’s joy.   As an outcast
far from his country, my friend sits
under a stonecliff, frost covered in storm.
My Lord, weary spirit, blood flows around

50    in a desolate hall, He my Lord suffers
great spirit care. She remembers too often
delightful abode. Woe to her who shall
long and wait for her Beloved.