I must say, I can not think of a more fitting elegy to be read alongside mine as The Wanderer. I have not been made acquainted with this “wanderer” but he seems a noble, if somewhat melancholy, fellow. I do so appreciate a traditional, godly sort of man in light of these rapidly changing times. He demonstrates a clear mastery of our humble English tongue, so much so that the depth of his sorrow pierces my very soul. Yet he also offers words of wisdom to console we dreary wanderers cursed to roam about the Earth waiting for Heaven beyond. He states that, “A wise man must be patient, neither too hot-hearted nor too hasty with words, nor too weak in war nor too unwise in thoughts, neither fretting nor fawning nor greedy for wealth, never eager for boasting before he truly understands” (42). He is indeed right that a true man should aspire to encompass all of these qualities and have an ultimate goal of wisdom rather than a more narrow goal of pure brawn or pure intellect. If one can not tell the difference between strength, intelligence, and wisdom, than he must certainly begin his journey there.
As for my lament, seeing the care with which it has been translated is truly moving to me and the thought of my small tale being read by so many over the years near brings me to tears. How fitting it is that the sorrow my lord brought me has been usurped by my joy at knowing so many have found solace in my song. Though this translation is lovingly done, it does allow for some confusion, or at the least interpretation, particularly in the second and third stanzas. Though to me this tale shall ever be painfully branded in my memory with every excruciating detail, me thinks an outsider may have difficulty understanding the chain of events. It seems a tad unclear whether my love wanted to leave me, if his kinsman pushed him to it, or if he wanted to leave the land out of a sense of duty but still longs for me across the sea, as I pine for him. Still, the passage on my time beneath that accursed Oak, rings bitterly true. I may always wish torment on my long lost love, but to the readers of my life’s journey, I wish only that you may never feel the pain of a broken heart. May your elegies not be such as mine, but if you must lament, then may you experience the joy of knowing that your story has weathered the waves of time and found home once more among a stranger’s breast. Praise unto you and God go with you all!