Runic Signature for Cynewulf’s “Fates of the Apostles”
Translated by Robert Hasenfratz
You who please your keenness with poems,
read closely here: can you discover
this verse’s framer? finishes.
Nobles enjoy it on earth, but not without end,
worldly ones. must fail
in our strongholds once our bodies scatter
their loaned treasure, like trickling through fingers.
Then and ear require skill
in night’s narrow cell; drives your craft,
a kingly servitude. Now can you see
who shrewd words have shown to men?
Remember my name, O you who admire
the sound of this song; help succor me
and pray for my comfort. Soon I must pass
alone, away to look for a dwelling,
must travel so far (no telling where!)
beyond this world to a yet-unknown
place in the earth. So must each person,
unless he is granted God-sent grace.
Let us call to God again, more eager,
begging his blessing in this bright creation:
may we be welcomed to his warm halls,
his home on high. There is holiest happiness,
there the king of angels crowns the pure
with a perishless prize. Now his praise endures
masterful and marvelous, and his might extends
endless and ageless over all creation. finit.